Texas cops cops released video Thursday of a 19-year-old autistic man being tasered after a call to police reporting he was throwing rocks in a neighbor’s yard.
“There is a boy that always throws rocks into our yard from the backyard but he kind of mess [sic] with the dogs . . . um . . . I don’t know but he looks like a grown man but I don’t know if he is all there.”
The caller requests to talk to officers before they contact the man identified as Michael Moore.
But the dispatcher never relays the information to the responding officer, Graham cop Olton Freeman.
The dispatcher only tells officer Freeman the reporting party “advised that there is a male subject back there throwing rocks at her house.”
In his report, officer Freeman wrote that Moore was breathing heavily, having difficulties focusing and acting paranoid, according to the Star-Telegram.
Moore’s mother says his behavior stemmed from the fact he is autistic.
Body cam footage shows the officer asking more his birthday and what he was doing.
“I’m just a normal kid,” he replies.
“It’s not a big deal,” he repeats several times.
“Saying I quit,” Moore repeats.
“I’m saying give me your eyes.”
Officer Freeman asks Moore what he means by that, but he is unable to answer.
He then asks him if he’s under the influence of drugs.
“No,” Moore replies.
Freeman then gives his bit about how his training makes him an expert and he has determined Moore is under the influence of a narcotic.
“Based on my training and experience as a police officer I believed that Michael may have been under the influence of some type of narcotic,” he tells Moore before beginning a field sobriety test on him without even explaining to him what was happening.
“I’m not under arrest, am I?”
Eventually, about four minutes into the video, Moore continues having difficulty following directions.
“All right, you’re not going to do it,” officer Freeman tells him.
He then tells Moore to place his hands behind his back and grabs for Moore’s right arm.
Moore turns his back to Freeman as well as another officer identified as Sergeant Pedro Marrufo walk behind him, grabbing his waste.
The officer begin to struggle with Moore and end up falling to the ground, which causes the body camera to fall off and piont towards the sky.
“Put your hands behind your back,” the officers shout.
“You’re about to be tased!”
“Don’t pinch me.”
“Get off me!” Moore yells at the cops.
A jailer who was doing a ride along with officer Freeman walks into the frame in order to help.
That’s when Moore is tasered twice and then detained.
Officers can be heard talking about what happened, saying Moore “might be mental” before they walk to the house where Moore lives to speak with his mother who confirmed he’s autistic.
“Michael was not displaying any signs of a mental disability during my initial contact with him,” Freeman wrote in his report adding he believed Moore was under the influence of drugs.
The Texas Rangers declined the Graham police department’s request to investigate the event.
“It is our opinion that our officer made a judgment call based on the limited information available, as the job forces them to do every day,” the department wrote on Facebook.
“Based on the situation and presentation of Mr. Moore, the responding officer believed him to be under the influence of controlled substances. A reasonable officer could have made this determination. He then appropriately initiated procedures to determine intoxication.”
Moving forward, the Graham Police department said it would “use this opportunity to expand our awareness and ability to serve diverse residents within our community. While we currently meet all state mandated requirements for mental health training, we are actively pursuing opportunities to expand our training, and for direct engagement with all of our residents.”
Listen to the conversation from the caller with dispatch below.