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NAACP wants officers fired after reports of excessive force against teen with autism

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The NAACP is calling on officials to act following reports of police officers using excessive force against a 17-year-old black man with autism as he waited for a light rail train.

In a news release Thursday, the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP said there is evidence Metro Transit police officers "brutally assaulted" Marcus Abrams, causing him to "black out," and then claiming officers "failed to call for medical attention on his behalf".

Abrams, who is legally blind and has other disabilities, was coming home from the Minnesota State Fair Monday when the incident occurred at a light rail station, the Pioneer Press reports.

Abrams was on the train tracks when officers asked him to get back on the platform, and when he did, they began questioning him, Metro Transit police spokesman Howie Padilla told City Pages. What happened after that is under review, Padilla added.

Abrams' family says he was injured when police tried to arrest him, the Star Tribune reports.

Metro Transit Police are investigating the incident.

They're calling for more training for officers on how to handle people with disabilities, reports note.

And now the NAACP is looking for swift action from the Metropolitan Council, noting this is the second incident of claimed police brutality against black men by the Metro Transit Police Department this summer.

The organization wants the Met Council to:

  • Respond and issue a public apology to the victims.
  • Fire the officers who were accused of being abusive towards the two black men.
  • Conduct an independent investigation into the "discriminatory and abusive" conduct of the entire Metro Transit Police Department.
  • And completely overhaul officer training programs.

"Metro Transit officers operate like a S.W.A.T. team, and we are sick and tired of black men, women, and children being terrorized in the streets without disciplinary action being taken against the officers in question," Nekima Levy-Pounds, the president of the Minneapolis NAACP, said in the news release.

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