The farcical situation as the emergency services dither over recovery of a man's body
Then listen to Nicola Clark (yeah, her again) in the ‘Guardian’ spouting off about this case:
During a school trip to a swimming pool four years ago, a 16-year-old boy was physically restrained by police, placed in handcuffs and leg irons, and taken to the cage of a police van. The teenager wasn't looting trainers, wasn't hurting anyone or damaging any property. He just didn't want the swimming trip to end.Yes, because the police are always called to throw recalcitrant children (actually, this is no child, but rather a 16 year old, who may have been a husky, strapping lad – though naturally, CiF illustrates the article with a child of about seven!) into paddywagons, right? Even if they aren’t causing any concern, yes?
Though not swimming, he was included on the visit with his specialist school. When he refused to leave, the police were called. Josh edged too close to the water and as he was unable to swim, one of the officers grabbed him for his own safety. Resisting this, Josh ended up in the pool. He was helped out by lifeguards, forced to the ground by police officers and the restraints were applied. He was then placed in the cage of the van. These actions, forced upon him by strangers, caused Josh to experience post-traumatic stress disorder.I’m no doctor, and I’m sure PTSD is utter hell, but I’m pretty sure it beats death by drowning…
Josh's family brought the case against the police to court, and on Monday the Met police were deemed to have acted unlawfully. There is still no apology forthcoming from commissioner Hogan Howe; just a determination to appeal the verdict.Well, for once, I agree with him!
This decision must be appealed, or we’ll see more scenes such as the one above, where everyone’s paralysed by doubt and no-one acts until all the risks are assessed and the guidelines consulted.
I doubt Josh's family expected the police to have as detailed understanding of his needs as they do; but a simple apology is breathtaking in its ameliorating ability.They should apologise? For what?
Not letting him drown, or otherwise hurt himself or others?
The worth of a person doesn't begin and end with their cognitive ability. Discrimination and hate crime is prevalent, and everyone – including learning-disabled people – must be able to believe that the police are there not to harm them but to keep them safe.Which they did. By preventing him from hurting himself or others.
Why are his family not asking questions of the carers who are the supposed ‘experts’ in autism that they clearly think the police should be? Come to that, why are the school not in the dock for taking an autistic youth who couldn’t swim near the pool in the first place?
Is it because they don’t have deep pockets, like the Met?