Teen With Autism Surrenders To Burbank Police For Allegedly Resisting Officer
* * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *
Autistic Teen Repeatedly Tased By Officer During Seat belt Stop Must Be Delivered to Burbank Police Station for Charges
Tawnya Nevarez (pronounced Tawn-ya Ne-va-rez) - A Latina Sherman Oaks mother of a 16-year-old autistic son
Areva Martin - civil rights attorney and nationally recognized autism advocate along with attorneys Ken Jones and Delmas Woods (Attorneys for the Family)
Last Friday, July 8, Nevarez, a registered nurse, along with her two children and niece were pulled over by a Burbank police officer for a routine traffic stop. The stop was the result of the front-seat passenger, Nevarez’s teenage special needs son, forgetting to fasten his seat belt for the short drive to a relative’s home. The encounter ended drastically with the special needs teen being pepper sprayed and tased multiple times by the officer. The officer also pepper sprayed the boy's younger sister. Seven days after the incident, the Burbank Police Department is now forcing the child's mother to bring her autistic son to police headquarters for him to be booked for charges arising out of the routine traffic stop.
Tomorrow afternoon: 1 p.m. Friday, July 15
Burbank Police Department 200 North Third Street Burbank, CA 91502
After being told there were no charges against Tawnya Nevarez's 16-year-old special needs son, the Burbank Police Chief has informed Nevarez that the Department plans to charge her teenage son with four criminal counts ranging from felony resisting an officer while performing his duties to a misdemeanor of disturbing the peace. If convicted on all counts, this special needs teen could face up to seven years in jail and fines in excess of $13,000.
Nearly a week after the incident, and before informing the mother of their intention, the Burbank Police Department launched a media campaign, going so far as to issue a press release with details that differ greatly from the mom's account of the encounter. After the release was issued, Nevarez sought the help of Areva Martin, an LA-based civil rights attorney and nationally recognized autism advocate.
Together with Martin, Jones and Woods, Nevarez will bring her son to the police department tomorrow afternoon. Martin will make a statement about the case to media at the front of police headquarters regarding an ongoing investigation of whether the police used excessive force and violated the teens civil rights during the July 8 traffic stop and the legitimacy of the criminal charges.
Jessica Munday firstname.lastname@example.org 843-708-8746 OR Anthony Turk email@example.com 213-200-3489
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Who Gets Tased? First Statewide Study Reveals Racial Disparities - NPR