Tell Police to Apologize For Wrongfully Arresting Autistic Teen

For what must have been ten terrifying hours in June, Daily Mail, 17-year-old Melissa Jones was held in a police cell, finger-printed and made to undergo DNA testing in Liverpool. She was sober but was charged with being drunk and disorderly, even though a doctor at the police station said she had not been drinking.

Jones is autistic and also has ADHD and communication disabilities. When her mother, Christine Evans, told police about her being autistic and her other disabilities, they "didn't want to hear about it."

Jones was formally charged with being drunk and disorderly in November of 2012. She was actually going to have to stand trial next month but, last week the Crown Prosecution Service said it was dropping the case because "the available evidence was insufficient to prove that Miss Jones was drunk and disorderly.

Since the incident, Jones has tried to commit suicide. She is more than owed an apology from the police for being arrested and detained for charges that were simply untrue.

To the Merseyside Police,


For what must have been ten terrifying hours in June, Daily Mail, 17-year-old Melissa Jones was held in a police cell, finger-printed and made to undergo DNA testing in Liverpool. She was sober but was charged with being drunk and disorderly, even though a doctor at the police station said she had not been drinking.


Jones is autistic and also has ADHD and communication disabilities. When her mother, Christine Evans, told police about her being autistic and her other disabilities, they "didn't want to hear about it."


On June 16, Jones and s friend had gone out to a shop for Coca-Cola. Another woman, who was inebriated, became aggressive towards the shop's assistant. Jones and her friend intervened and were allegedly assaulted by the woman, who fled. When the police showed up, they assumed Jones had been drinking and arrested her.


Jones was formally charged with being drunk and disorderly in November of 2012. She was actually going to have to stand trial next month but, last week the Crown Prosecution Service said it was dropping the case because "the available evidence was insufficient to prove that Miss Jones was drunk and disorderly.


Since the incident, Jones has tried to commit suicide.  


Due to her being autistic, Jones was most likely unable to communicate with the police about what had really happened, as well as whatever distress and confusion she was feeling. Her case is hardly the first in which police have displayed insensitivity towards autistic persons and even treated them brutally: In March of 2014, anautistic teenager was awarded £28,250 in damages from the London Metropolitan police after they pulled him from a swimming pool and handcuffed him.

Jones is more than owed an apology from the Merseyside police for being arrested and detained for charges that were simply untrue. We urge you to offer Jones such an apology immediately.

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