The parents of an autistic teen who died after police allgedly sat on him for nine minutes are suing the officers responsible.
Keep scrolling to read the full horrific story.
An autistic teenager died in police hands.
Image Credit: The Cochran Firm
Eric Parsa, an autistic 16-year-old, died after being pinned down by police 12 months ago. Now his family are taking action against those responsible.
But first, what exactly is autism?
Autism is a life-long developmental disability.The condition affects how people perceive the world, and how they behave and interact in social situations and with others. It is characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
And it is incredibly common.In 2018, the CDC determined that approximately 1 in fifty-nine children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder here in the States.
There is a spectrum.And, dependent on where a person sits on the spectrum, the characteristics of autism can vary.
All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways.Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues, or other conditions, meaning different people need different levels of support.
And, most importantly...Autism is not a disease or illness, therefore it cannot be cured.
Autism is generally believed to be caused by genetics.Research has consistently supported the theory that autism tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child.
And it is definitely not a result of vaccines.So all you anti-vaxxers out there can just pipe down, okay?
Anti-vaxxers have long blamed vaccines on autism.But scientists have conducted extensive research over the last 2 decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.
And there is no cure for autism.Autism is not a disease that can be magically irradicated with a course of antibiotics. It is a social disorder with characteristics that, instead of being curable, can be managed and improved over time.
Although many people still don't understand and/or believe the truth behind autism.
Such as Laurel Austin who was in the news not too long after she admitted feeding her autistic children bleach.
She believes that her bleach remedy has helped to ease her children's autistic.She has revealed that she began using Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) in an attempt to help her son Jeremy, twenty-eight, and his brother, Joshua, who suffers from a less severe form of the condition.
This Miracle Mineral Solution is an incredibly toxic formula.The solution is a corrosive concoction of industrial bleach containing sodium chlorinate and citrus acid diluted in water. It has been touted by some as a cure for HIV, hepatitis, acne, and cancer as well as autism but doctors say it is ineffective as well as dangerous.
Many doctors have publicly slammed the MMS formula.Speaking last year, British GP Jeff Foster said that MMS does treat autism or any other condition. “Autism is a neuro-developmental condition which is not amenable to any form of tablet treatment," he said. "When you have very extreme measures like this to ‘cure’ a condition it’s just a roulette game. Eventually someone will die. It’s only a matter of time."
Despite autism being so incredibly common.
Countless people don't understand it. Which needs to change - as, in the case of Eric Parsa, it can be fatal.
The 16-year-old was in a shopping center in Louisiana with his parents.
Image Credit: The Cochran Firm
But that's when Eric had a sensory outburst, also known as a 'meltdown' in the car park.
He started hitting himself and his father.
The Cochran Firm
Prompting a manager of the shopping center to call the police, with the family's permission.
The police handcuffed Eric.
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And took turns in sitting on him, pinning him to the ground. They did this for over nine minutes.
Apparently, Eric did not resist arrest once he was restrained by officers.
But he went limp on the floor and was rushed to hospital and going into cardiac arrest. He then sadly passed away due to 'excited delirium'. The same term was used to describe how George Floyd died.
A year on from the death and his family want justice.
William Most, one of the family's attorneys, told VICE:
Once Eric was secured, the deputies should have taken basic steps to ensure he could continue to breathe, including taking the weight off his back side, rolling him onto his side, and assigning someone to monitor his breathing.
However, the police claim the lawsuit is full of false accusations and describe Eric as a 'violent teenager'.
The Cochrane Firm
In a statement, the police said, 'While the Sheriff's Office remains deeply saddened over this unfortunate loss of life, it does not intend to allow Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Deputies to be maligned and slandered by those seeking to profit from this unfortunate situation.'