A TikTok user went viral last week from sharing a video of the family being pulled over by police after officers identified the young man in the passenger seat as a possible suspect in a recent incident in which someone fled a traffic stop. The young man, named Jimmy, happens to be autistic. He was in the passenger seat and has never driven before. User shared multiple videos of how her autistic brother was pulled out of the car by police in Pennsylvania.
The TikTok user known as “Queenofoncall” on social media is Jimmy’s sister. Their mom was also in the car with them when they were pulled over. Both the sister and mom were worried and frustrated. They would tell officers how it’s impossible for the brother to be the suspect since he doesn’t drive but they wouldn’t listen.
When they were pulled over the officers asked them to turn off the car and place the keys on the roof. This order was unusual to them since they were never told to do that by an officer. “Queenofoncall” explained how the police demanded her brother to get out of the car with no explanation. In the first video she posted, a Pennsylvania State Police trooper and a Kennett Township Police Department officer appear looking into the car. Both “Queenofoncall” and the mom were telling the officers that Jimmy is disable as he was already out of the car. They were comforting Jimmy telling him he did nothing wrong. They told the officers that they will continue recording and ask them to keep their body cameras on.
Thank god the cops were there to *checks notes* force an autistic boy out of the backseat of his mom’s car for no discernible reason, while the mom has a resulting panic attack and pleads for her child’s safe return https://t.co/AzJGwLyZZ6
— Matt Gaetz's Gas Mask 🌹 (@Finger_Knees) November 17, 2020
The mom kept on asking for an explanation on why they took her son out on officer responded “he’s not all right. What don’t you understand about him being autistic and intellectually disabled?” The mom was still panicking and wouldn’t stop yelling since they wouldn’t give her an explanation. “Then, I’m not going to explain it. Keep being irrational, and I’ll be irrational, too,” one officer said.
"…they did everything perfectly legally" We hear this all the time in stories where people's rights have been violated. Sometimes the most concerning factor isn't whether they "acted within the law", but why the law allows the actions taken.
— Jason Boone (@shadowe_wolfe) November 13, 2020
The mom and sister finally get an explanation as the third officer approached the car. Turns out that Jimmy fit the description of someone that fled a traffic stop. They mom was confused when she was told that Jimmy would be let go if they couldn’t confirm that it wasn’t him. “My son doesn’t drive,” the mom said. They let Jimmy free and confirmed that he was not the person they were looking for.
No! They use this "You fit the description of XYZ", as an excuse to get you to comply. Its used over and over again.
— Borillion (@Borillion) November 13, 2020
People are upset with “Queenofoncall” videos about the incident. A few comments said that officers should change the way they handle situations especially special needs people.
That's absolutely despicable. Those cops were beyond out of line in their actions 😡
— Otakumama4 (@JanineV32334021) November 12, 2020
“Queenofoncall” had posted videos going into details about the situation. The mom wanted to get out of the car and help Jimmy but the daughter didn’t let her. She was saying how they were going to have to take Jimmy to talk to a psychologist and get support. The TikToker mentioned how they tried filing a reporting regarding the incident. The report was directed to the officer who got Jimmy out of the car. The officer said that the family was overreacting. Apparently, the officer said that the only reason why Jimmy wasn’t on the ground or handcuffed was because he is autistic.
I worry about my 23 year old autistic daughter also.
— Heather Hetrick (@BackupZeus) November 13, 2020
“Our family is not looking for a monetary lawsuit against these police and the state troopers. We are looking for them to explain their actions, to improve their actions, and to determine if the policy they have if they even have a policy is actually effective with handling individuals who are autistic and have intellectual disabilities,” the TikToker says.
The Tiktoker turned off the comments on the videos since she received many controversial comments. She captioned, “Update, thank you all for the love. #autism #fyp #acab #intellectualdisability #update #love.”
All the videos were deleted for the same reason. It is understandable why the TikToker would do that. The TikToker said, “All of the videos have been removed due to threats and ongoing harassments. I have also disabled comments on my videos for the same reasons. Thank you to those who have shown us support.”
Aside from receiving a few hateful comments, the family also received viewers support. A Twitter user, who is autistic, commented on the incident,”as an autistic person, I feel apprehensive. This post needs more attention.”
As an autistic person, I feel apprehensive. This post needs more attention. https://t.co/4vo0JxPVjs
— Hunter Jones (@HunterRJGuy) November 15, 2020
The comment coming from someone autistic shows how frustrating it might be for those with autism. Autistic or not, no one should be looked down at. Everyone is the same and deserves equal respect. Many do not understand what people with special needs go through or how they feel. The best thing to do is to always be respectful of each other.