Muskogee Mother Upset After Police Incident With Special Needs Son
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - The mother of a mentally disabled Muskogee man who was pepper sprayed and arrested said police had no right to touch her son.
Police, however, said they were patting the man down for their own safety when he refused to cooperate.
Etta Clark said she is devastated by what happened to her son and said during the altercation police knew he was mentally disabled, but police said video tells a very different story.
“I just never thought something like this would happen to my baby," Clark said.
Giovanni Clark said, "I don't like them touching on me, just a little. They can pat me down all they want, but they cannot put me in handcuffs."
Sunday night, police were looking for a runaway teen and had been to the Muskogee home twice. Two men sitting on the porch told them the teen wasn't there, but another tip sent them back where they finally found her.
One man sitting on the porch, Derek Jacobs, was arrested for outstanding warrants. That's when police started asking about the other man in the home.
Eventually, Giovanni Clark comes outside and police begin to pat him down.
"I'm like officer will you please let me calm him down, officer will you please let him clam down? At first I said he was mildly retarded, then I was like, he's mentally retarded, would you please let me calm him down? I was not allowed to," Etta Clark said.
Muskogee Police Officer, Lincoln Anderson said that's not what happened.
"It wasn't until the confrontation took place, and afterwards, that they were told that Mr. Clark was special needs," he said. "But had they been told, previously, by the mother, you know, he's got some kind of handicap, here's what's going on, then yeah, they almost would have definitely handled it a little differently than the way it happened."
The mother said she's looking into her legal options. As for Muskogee police, they said they followed protocol and won't be making any changes.