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Transit cop fired after beating up autistic Minnesota teen he suspected of drug use

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A transit police officer who was accused of attacking a teenager who has autism has been fired.

The mother of 17-year-old Marcus Abrams said the boy was standing Aug. 31 near the tracks at a light rail station in St. Paul when police approached him, reported KARE-TV.

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The officers, identified as Peter Buzicky and Richard Wegner, approached Abrams and some friends after one of the boys briefly stepped on the light rail tracks.

Abrams, who has Asperger’s syndrome and wears specially magnified glasses because he is legally blind, was wearing headphones and couldn’t hear Wegner’s order to place his hands behind his back.

Police suspected Abrams, who was returning home with friends after working at the Minnesota State Fair, was intoxicated or using drugs.

Wegner grabbed his wrist and the teen backed up, so the officer grabbed the boy by his vest.

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“He was able to cock his left hand by his left ear while looking right at me telling me not to touch him,” Wegner wrote in his report.

The boy’s mother said his autism, along with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and “touch-sensory issues,” makes Abrams extremely sensitive about his personal space.

Wegner said he used a “leg sweep takedown” to drop Abrams to the floor and then placed him in a neck restraint after the boy tried to hit and kick officers.

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“One grabbed my arm and the other one grabbed my wrist and I told them to get off me — I did nothing wrong,” Abrams told the TV station. “They just slammed me right on the ground. I tried to get them off me and (one officer had his) whole body on my whole face and I couldn’t breathe.”

A bystander who recorded video of the encounter can be heard telling police that Abrams was suffering a seizure as they physically restrained him.

The boy’s mother said he actually had two seizures during the incident and was hospitalized afterward, but she said officers should have realized her son suffered from a mental disability.

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“Just by talking to him they should have known that something in his mind was not right,” Maria Caldwell said.

A Metro Transit spokesman said the incident, which sparked protests by the NAACP and the Black Lives Matter movement, had prompted special classes for transit officers to identify and properly interact with people living with a mental illness.

Wegner was fired over the weekend, after Metro Transit said he had failed his probationary period, which began in March.

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He had been a part-time transit officer since 1993 and hired full-time earlier this year.

Civil service rules allow officers to be “summarily dismissed” during their first year.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump allies acquiring ‘dirt’ on journalists to take them down during the 2020 election

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President Donald Trump's war against the media has taken a next step. According to The New York Times, Trump's allies have been compiling information on reporters at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times to strike back because the president believes they "aggressively investigated" him.

The information was revealed Sunday using information disclosed by associates of conservative Arthur Schwartz, who is spearheading the project. Schwartz is an adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and previously worked with Steve Bannon.

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Iran Foreign Minister Zarif perfectly Twitter-trolls Trump with photos of meeting with smiling Macron at G7

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Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif used Donald Trump's favorite social media platform to get in a dig at the president and rub his nose in the fact that French President Emmanuel took time out from the busy G7 meeting he is hosting to sit down with him.

The White House was reportedly blindsided by Macron's invitation that had been kept a secret from Trump and now, if Trump wanted proof of the meeting, he need only hop on Twitter to see the evidence.

As Zarif wrote, "Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues. Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDria & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany. Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying."

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Hong Kong police fire first gunshot in protest clashes

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Hong Kong police used water cannon for the first time and at least one officer fired his sidearm during pitched battles with protesters Sunday, one of the most violent nights in three months of pro-democracy rallies that have rocked the city.

An afternoon rally in the district of Tsuen Wan spiralled into violent running confrontations between protesters and police, with officers several times caught outnumbered and isolated by masked youths wielding sticks and throwing rocks.

In one instance, several police officers drew their sidearms, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

"According to my understanding, just now a gunshot was fired by a colleague," Superintendent Leung Kwok Win told the press.

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