Father of autistic teen that was Tasered in Mississauga to sue police

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Published November 24, 2022 at 10:40 am

autistic teen tasered
Abdullah Darwich in happier times, left, and after being Tasered on Nov. 4. Darwich family photos

The father of an autistic teen who was Tasered by police in Mississauga says he’s not satisfied with a statement issued this week from Peel Regional Police.

Majd Darwich says police officers had many options when they confronted his nonverbal, autistic son Abdullah Darwich, 19, not far from his home in Mississauga on Nov. 4 but they chose to subdue him with force.

He was nearly naked and was no match for police, Darwich tells insauga.com.

“He hasn’t any weapon, no knife, no gun, nothing with him. I mean, and he is alone, and you are about 10 policemen surrounding him,” he says. “Why don’t they try the other options?”

The incident happened only a few houses away and police could have checked who was on the vulnerable person registry in the neighbourhood and they would have found Abdullah.

Police say they  Tasered the teen after they received a report of “a suspicious person in a state of undress, attempting to enter a vehicle and a house.”

Yesterday (Nov. 24), police issued a public statement, saying they are conducting a review of the case.

But Darwich says this isn’t enough — he wants the officers involved to face some kind of consequences.

“They should have a special training, they should feel that they did something wrong,” he says.

autistic teen tasered

Darwich has met with senior Peel police officers and discussed the incident. Police suggested he file a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

But Darwich doesn’t want another review and he has consulted with a lawyer.

“I need the law to be applied in this situation,” he says. “I have already started suing.”

The officers involved need to consider the pain they cause people when Tasering — it should only be a last resort, he adds. Abdullah was sent to hospital with injuries all over his body.

“It should be the last thing, not the first thing they are using,” he says.

autistic teen tasered

The officers told Darwich that they thought Abdullah was on drugs. But Darwich says his son was harmless and didn’t need such a physical response.

“It’s not the right way to deal with a young boy playing with the leafs.”

Abdullah’s physical injuries are healing but his distrust of people and fearfulness continue.

“Psychologically, he is not well.”

By speaking out, Darwich hopes there will be change.

“My main concern is that this will not happen to Abdullah or other children like him in future.”

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