- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 21, 2020

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Topeka police officer who injured a teenager with autism while handcuffing him did not violate department policies but should undergo a refresher course on de-escalation training, an independent police auditor said.

The officer, whose name has not been released, fractured the 14-year-old’s wrist during an encounter on Sept. 19, according to the child’s mother.

While he did not violate policy, the officer’s judgment was “concerning,” Auditor Edward Collazo said in a report made public on Tuesday.

The incident began when the officer tried several times to get the youth to leash his dog or take the dog home, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

On their fourth encounter, after the teenager ran and initially resisted. But he was not resisting when the officer threatened to pepper spray him, handcuffed him, put him on the ground and knelt on him, the auditor’s report said.

Collazo, who watched four videos from the officer’s body camera, suggested police officials review the officer’s decisions during the encounter.

“Not every encounter requires handcuffing,” he wrote.

Police spokeswoman Gretchen Spiker would not say if the officer would be required to undergo the extra de-escalation training, which she said all officers take as part of their regular training.

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