A former police officer has avoided jail after he was filmed assaulting an autistic boy at a special needs school.
Constable Christopher Cruise, of Merseyside Police in the UK, was filmed at a school where he was working as a liaison officer in January 2020 attacking a 10-year-old boy.
Footage obtained by Liverpool Echo shows the boy on the ground.
Cruise pulls his foot back and appears to threaten to kick the boy who crawls away.
He then grabs the child by the collar and drags him down a corridor and into another room.
The boy suffered knee and neck injuries in the incident.
Merseyside Police said Cruise was found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour, namely; Use of force, Authority Respect and Courtesy, Honesty and Integrity and Discreditable Conduct.
But he quit the police before the findings were handed out. Police said if he was still with them he would have been dismissed without notice. He is now barred from being an officer.
Cruise was convicted of assault at Chester Crown Court and had an appeal dismissed.
A hearing heard he asked children in the classroom if they could hear the boy crying after the incident and then pointed at another child and told them: “You’re next”.
He will not serve jail time though and received fines totalling more than $2700 which included $187 in compensation.
A relative of the boy told the paper Cruise should have been jailed and called him “a bully”.
The National Police Autism Association condemned the former officer’s actions.
“As a national network supporting neurodiversity in the police service, many of our members are autistic themselves or parents of autistic children, and we are shocked and saddened by what was clearly a failure in the officer’s duty of care,” it said.
“We join the Merseyside Police Professional Standards Department in offering reassurance that the officer’s actions do not reflect the behaviour and standards of our colleagues, who do the best they can to protect vulnerable adults and children.”
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