12:17 GMT27 November 2020
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    Two cops with Texas’ Graham Police Department came under investigation by the Texas Rangers this week over the officers’ decision to handcuff and then use a stun gun on a teenager with autism just outside his own home.

    The incident, which occurred last Tuesday, took place after a neighbor saw 19-year-old Michael Moore throwing rocks at a fence and called the local police department to check out the situation. Though the neighbor had informed the operator that the teen was "not all there," the information was not passed on to the responding officers, the Graham Police Department (GPD) revealed in a Monday Facebook post.

    When officers arrived on the scene, Moore reportedly ran down an alley behind a house before officers were able to catch up with the him.

    "The officer began to interview the subject and began to investigate the possibility that he might be under the influence of a controlled substance. The officer noted the subject was sweating, breathing heavily, having difficulties focusing and acting paranoid," the GPD statement reads.

    The first officer had Moore undergo a field sobriety test; when he was unable to complete it, the officer, now having been joined by a colleague, decided to handcuff the teen. Moore's "erratic movements, behavior and statements" also factored into their decision, according to police.

    The stun gun was brought out after Moore pulled away and accidentally knocked down both officers when he was being placed in handcuffs. The teen was stunned twice with the weapon, each lasting approximately five seconds. He was later placed inside a patrol car.

    "The subject calmed down and indicated to officers where he lived and during this conversation in a controlled atmosphere the officers began to suspect that the subject might have a mental impairment," GPD's statement added.

    Tracie Moore, the teen's mother, told Texas news station WFAA that the entire incident was "outrageous" and that she was in tears after watching the bodycam footage of the altercation.

    "Now I'm angry," she told the outlet. "I watched the bodycam footage. He told them, ‘My mama is inside. Let me get my mama.'"

    "I really doesn't take long conversing with him to figure out he has a disability. Now, he has a busted blood vessel in his eye. He had scratches and abrasions on both sides of his face," she added.

    Although Tracie was made aware of the incident that night, she told the Star-Telegram that it wasn't until the day after that she'd learned her son had been tased.

    "They ask him to put his hands behind his back, once again he turns and points to the house and says, 'I live here, can I get my mama?'" she told the publication. "They grab his arm, put a choke hold on him and throw him to the ground."

    "At that point, the body cameras fall off and all you can see is sky but you can still hear the audio. The first time I saw the video, it was at that point the officer told me, 'This is where they stunned him twice.' Up until that point, we had no knowledge of the use of a stun gun," she noted.

    Having already met with officials from the police department four times, Tracie told the Star-Telegram that she wants "Michael to get justice."

    Officials with the Texas Rangers are currently investigating the incident, reviewing bodycam footage and dispatch communications with the neighbor who reported the incident and those between dispatch and the responding officers. Bodycam footage will be released, pending the approval of the Texas Rangers' office.


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    teenager, autism, stun gun, Graham Police Department, Texas
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