Mother says officers used excessive force on teen son with autism

Family says McKhyl Dickerson, who has autism, was aggressively restrained by police (Source:...
Family says McKhyl Dickerson, who has autism, was aggressively restrained by police (Source: Family photo)
Updated: May. 11, 2018 at 7:36 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A mother is speaking out after she says Richmond police used excessive force with her 14-year-old son who has autism.

Tekia Lewis says her son, McKhyl Dickerson, was aggressively restrained, causing him abrasions and a sprain.

"I'm numb. I'm numb... because these incidents have happened so many times with special needs children and adults," said Lewis.

Richmond police are now investigating, but they are not releasing details of an internal investigation.

Dickerson's grandmother and uncle say they saw part of that altercation, last Sunday. The family says two female police officers were investigating a hit-and-run at their apartment complex, when they heard a commotion outside. They say they saw McKhyl being aggressively restrained by the officers, allegedly "slamming him against the wall and to the ground."

"I had gone around my apartment to see my grandson slammed on the ground," said Edythe Lewis, McKhyl's grandmother. "The police officer had him handcuffed, had her knee on his leg. And I asked her to allow me to come to him, so I could console him because he's a special needs child."

The family says the officers would not allow them near McKhyl. even though they explained he has special needs. When McKhyl's mother arrived, he was transported to the hospital.

"He could not bear weight on his foot," said Lewis.

Lewis says her son McKhyl Dickerson was left with abrasions, bruises and a sprain that put him on crutches, after the physical altercation with police.

Richmond Police Internal Affairs is investigating. The chief has spoken to the mother, but RPD will not comment on internal affairs investigations. Tekia says officers need more training in dealing with mental health issues, above what they already receive.

"I think it should be mandatory that police officers volunteer in places that have people with special needs, so they can see how they actually act," said Lewis.

Lewis is raising money online for an attorney.

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