Officer cleared in Baldwin autism spat

The Quincy Police Department issued a statement Thursday clearing an officer in a September incident involving the arrest of a boy with autism.

The release issued to the media gave a detailed account of the event compiled through interviews with Baldwin Intermediate School resource officer Bill Calkins, school staff, student Roger Parker, Jr. and his mother Brandi Kirchner.

This means that the force used by Officer Calkins in this case was justified, lawful, and proper, Copley wrote in the release. It is unfortunate that the student was injured. However, it is clear that the injury was unintentional and that the force used by Officer Calkins was necessary to initially remove the student from harm TMs way and then to effectively control him.

Kirchner complained that her son was mistreated by Calkins after her son had what she described as a meltdown during class. The 9-year-old boy was restrained and kicked the officer in the face.

Here's what the investigation revealed according to Copley's release:

Calkins was summonsed to a classroom about 1:15 p.m. Sept. 21 to assist staff with a disruptive student. Parker had climbed up to the top of a partition separating the room into offices.

The officer tried to coax the boy from the top of the seven-foot partition, but wasn't successful. After about 15 minutes, Calkins and staff decided to physically bring him down.

Calkins climbed on a table and crabbed Parker with both hands and moved him to the ground. Parker began to struggle on the ground. He was placed in a children's control position. As the child struggled he kicked Calkins in the face. Calkins placed the child face down on the floor and placed him in handcuffs.

Parker's face dragged across the carpet causing an abrasion on his face, the report says. The child was taken to the Quincy Police Department and later released to his mother.

Kirchner complained that she was not contacted before police became involved with her son and told KHQA that she would have been able to diffuse the situation before it became violent. She was also upset that she had to wait for 45-minutes at the police station while her son was processed at the station. Copley said allowing her to be with her son during his time at the police station might have been helpful.

While there is no legal requirement to allow the mother to be with her son while at headquarters (because he was not being interviewed,) allowing her to do so would have been prudent and could have expedited the student TMs cooperation with the process, he wrote.

Parker was arrested on aggravated battery to a police officer, but due to his age the Adams County Probation Department will review the case and decide whether formal charges are appropriate.