Police drag autistic girl out of house ‘because she said officer looked like her lesbian grandmother’

West Yorkshire Police officers arrested an autistic girl, 16, after she said an officer reminded her of her lesbian grandmother.

West Yorkshire Police have been accused of “manhandling” an autistic girl because she said an officer looked like her grandmother, who is a lesbian.

The 16-year-old was arrested for a homophobic public order offence, police confirmed to PinkNews, as footage of the incident sparked widespread outrange on social media.

The girl’s mother, Lisa Rozycki, accused the force of being “bullies in uniform” in a TikTok video.

The video explained that while police were visiting their home, the teenager said an officer ‘looked like her nanna, who is a lesbian’ and that the officer “took it the wrong way and said it was homophobic”. 

“My daughter was having panic attacks from being touched by them and they still continued to manhandle her,” text overlayed on the video reads. 

In the video, Rozycki can be heard telling the officer to stop staring at her daughter due to her autism, while the daughter can be heard screaming, hitting herself and crying while officers attempt to grab her. 

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At the end, the teenager is dragged from her home by multiple officers, despite Rozycki telling officers that she suffers with scoliosis and a twisted spine.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, people called the video “distressing” and “very upsetting”.  One user said the conduct from the West Yorkshire Police officers was “totally unacceptable”, while another condemned the force’s behaviour as “disgusting”. 

West Yorkshire Police said the incident occurred at 12.12am on Monday (7 August) after the force received “calls from a family member of a 16-year-old girl who was reportedly intoxicated and putting herself at risk in Leeds city centre”.

“Officers attended at about 1am and drove the teenager to her home so she could be appropriately looked after,” the force told PinkNews.

“Upon returning her to the address, comments were made which resulted in the girl being arrested on suspicion of a homophobic public order offence. The nature of the comments made was fully captured on body-worn video.

“When the girl was eventually fit to be interviewed, that interview took place with an appropriate adult.

“She was later released on bail pending further enquiries and advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.”

MP says West Yorkshire Police video is ‘distressing’ and must be addressed

Labour MP Kate Osborne, a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Autism, said the police have questions to answer.

“This footage is distressing and on the face of it, does seem like the police response lacked empathy and was not proportionate,” she told PinkNews.

“Of course as an LGBTQ MP who has had many instances of being verbally and homophobicly abused, I believe reports of homophobic abuse should be dealt with and taken seriously.

“However, the video footage leaves a lot of questions for the police to answer, were these officers trained in how to handle situations with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, why were there so many police involved and whether or not the way it was dealt with was excessive.

“There have been a number of cases over the years of autistic people being wrongly arrested or approached by the police due to their ‘unusual behaviour’ I am concerned that this may be what has happened here and I hope it is investigated and the young woman is okay.”

West Yorkshire Police assistant chief constable Oz Khan said to PinkNews: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media which, as is often the case, only provides a very limited snapshot of the circumstances of this incident.

“Officers had their body-worn video cameras activated during their wider involvement with this young girl which provides additional context to their actions.

“We have received a complaint in relation to this incident which is currently being assessed by West Yorkshire Professional Standards Directorate.

“While that ongoing process and the active criminal investigation limit our ability to fully discuss the incident in detail, we feel it is important for people to have some context about the circumstances.”

Khan added: “West Yorkshire Police takes its responsibilities around the welfare of young people taken into custody and around neurodiversity very seriously.

“We also maintain that our officers and staff should not have to face abuse while working to keep our communities safe.

“We are fully reviewing the circumstances of this incident and ask that people avoid reaching any conclusions about it solely on the basis of the social media video.”

Autism is “a developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world”, according to the National Autistic Society.

It exists as a spectrum, and those with autism experience it in different ways.

Some may experience over (or under) sensitivity to touch, which can cause anxiety or even pain, the National Autistic Society says.

PinkNews has contacted Lisa Rozycki for comment.