Police in Arizona have shot an Asperger’s sufferer, who took the internet by storm, dead in their own home.
According to NY Daily News, police are referring to the victim by their legal name, Danielle Jacobs, but Jacobs actually identified as a transgender man by the name of Kayden Clarke.
Police say they were called to Clarke’s flat following a suicide call, but when they arrived Clarke was wielding a knife. Officers reportedly fired having felt threatened by the 24-year-old.
Clarke, who was taken to hospital for surgery but died later Thursday evening, had gone viral online after footage of his service dog, Samson, comforting him was uploaded to YouTube.
Clarke had previously told the Huffington Post that autism did make him a threat to himself.
When I have a meltdown, I often have self-injurious behaviour and I often self-harm.
Clarke’s mother told NY Daily News:
I talked to her last night and the night before and she seemed fine.
Before the police arrived she wasn’t posing a threat to the community at all, and the police came into her own place. They shot and killed a 24-year-old autistic, mentally ill individual whom they had been familiar with and aware of her special needs.
Detective Esteban Flores from the Mesa Police Department, Arizona, has said officers were acting in self-defense.
He told AZ Family:
She had one knife that we know of, she had something else we’re not sure what it was, the officers said it was dark inside the room.
When she made contact with them she approached them with the knife, extended it out, and they felt threatened.
Maybe more U.S. police forces should visit the UK to learn how to respond to certain incidents without immediately resorting to the use of potentially fatal force.