Quebec police Taser teen with autism; mother demands answers


A Quebec mother is demanding to know why her non-verbal son who has autism was Tasered by police after operating away from a neighborhood centre for individuals with particular wants.

Marie Ismé mentioned her 18-year-old son, Brandon, shouldn’t be a menace and mentioned his remedy by Mascouche police is the worst nightmare for somebody with autism.

“They determined to Taser him, to shoot him with the Taser gun and [the police] mentioned that was their most suitable choice as a result of he was placing himself in peril,” mentioned Ismé informed reporters Thursday close to her residence in Terrebonne, a suburb north of Montreal. 

“I informed them that, you recognize, Brandon, he is by no means been aggressive to you guys. He at all times cooperated with you guys.”

Her son has been identified to run away from the centre up to now, which Ismé has been complaining about for a while.

The centre’s coverage with her son when he tries to run away is to not cease him or go after him, however to instantly name police.

She mentioned police have been referred to as to the centre twice on Wednesday, and on the second time, an officer determined to cease him utilizing his Taser.

Marie Isme, with her 18-year-old son, Brandon, speaks to reporters on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (CTV News)

The pins from the Taser system needed to be surgically eliminated. On Thursday, his mother mentioned he’s extra withdrawn and is sleeping greater than normal, and since he cannot talk verbally, she worries she will be able to’t correctly look after him.

She mentioned since her son shouldn’t be harmful, she is questioning why officers thought-about the Taser as an acceptable response. 

“They’re afraid of my son. I feel they’re afraid of him. I simply assume that they are afraid as a result of they at all times see that he is tall, however there are different tall youngsters there,” Ismé mentioned.

“He’s weak, Brandon. He didn’t damage anyone. There was no want for that. That’s excessive you recognize?”


Martin St-Pierre, who heads the skilled requirements part of the Mascouche police, mentioned in a media briefing that it was too early to touch upon the scenario, which he mentioned requires additional investigation.

“It should be examined. I can not reply as a result of it is too early. The case must be analyzed,” he mentioned in a information scrum Thursday.

When requested if it is police coverage to make use of a Taser on an individual with autism, the chief mentioned, “It depends upon the intervention. Each intervention is actually totally different.”

Martin St-Pierre is the top of the skilled requirements part of the Mascouche police service. (CTV News)

Both instances the teen ran away from the useful resource centre, he allegedly entered into close by properties, in accordance with St-Pierre. It’s not clear if the identical officers have been concerned in every intervention on Wednesday. He mentioned the police drive is acquainted with Brandon from earlier calls.

“For a number of months, we have been involved with the useful resource centre and involved with the household as effectively to seek out some options in relation to the scenario,” the officer mentioned.

Ismé mentioned she’s talking out as a result of she does not need the identical factor to occur to a different particular person with autism.


The teen’s mother mentioned police officers do not know the way to deal with individuals with particular wants and want extra coaching — a sentiment echoed by civil rights activist Fo Niemi.

“There’s at all times a worry that an untrained police officer could not perceive the behaviours of autistic youngsters or individuals, they usually could take into account the conduct to be both harmful or very threatening to oneself and to others,” mentioned Niemi, the chief director of the Montreal-based group Center for Research-Action on Race Relations.

What typically performs a job in conditions like Brandon’s is the truth that the dysfunction is invisible, which requires particular consideration, in accordance with Marla Cable, a useful resource and coaching centre coordinator at Giant Steps, who affords coaching to first responders.

“Part of the coaching we have been doing, we have been attempting to encourage police officers to present house, to present time to make use of some form of a visible or gestural cue if potential. But most of the time, giving house is actually useful to a number of autistic people,” mentioned Cable.

Giant Steps is a neighborhood group that gives coaching and session companies, and workshops to those that work with the autism neighborhood.

It developed a coaching program that guides first responders, academics, and households with info and techniques on the way to intervene with somebody with autism in an emergency scenario. Montreal police have been one of many police companies that obtained the coaching, which Cable mentioned must be maintained regularly.

“We are right here. We are prepared, prepared, and in a position to go in and help any group that desires extra coaching and help,” she mentioned.

CTV News has reached out to the centre that cares for Brandon for remark. 


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