Police officers in Graham, Texas are under investigation by the Texas Rangers after using a Taser on an autistic teen who was throwing rocks at his own fence.
Dallas-Fort Worth’s WFAA reported that after a neighbor called police on 19-year-old Michael Moore for throwing rocks at his fence, two officers handcuffed the young man and used the stun gun on him when he resisted. The officers reportedly believed Moore may have been on drugs, and it was only after using the Taser that one of the officers realized he “might have a mental impairment.”
The boy’s mother Tracie Moore told WFAA that it was “outrageous” that police would use such force on her son, who is well-known in Graham, a city of roughly 9,000 people.
“I have been a resident my whole life,” she said. “And Michael has too. This is where he was born and raised.”
Tracie Moore said she watched the body camera footage after the June 26 incident and heard her son telling the officers that his “mama is inside” before imploring them to let him call for her. In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, she also said the footage showed the officers putting him in “a choke hold.”
“I was in tears,” she told the station. “And now I’m angry.”
Though police say Moore ran into another yard, his mother claims he was the first to approach them at the corner of their house’s yard.
“It really doesn’t take long conversing with him to figure out he has a disability,” she said. “Now, he has a busted blood vessel in his eye. He had scratches and abrasions on both sides of his face.”
Moore’s mother said she did not learn that police had used the Taser on him until the day after the fact, and alleged that police omitted that information in their initial report. The Star-Telegram noted that the person who initially called police on the teen told the operator he was “not all there,” but that information wasn’t relayed to the responding officers.