TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida police officers may soon be required to undergo training to better deal with autistic individuals under a bill that has passed the state Legislature.
The measure was sent to Gov. Rick Scott on Friday. It comes after a North Miami shooting that left an unarmed black therapist shot and injured while he tried to protect his severely autistic client. The client had been the original target in the shooting.
If signed into law, police departments across the state would have to establish training to help police identify the behavior of autistic individuals.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder are estimated to have up to seven times more contacts with police in their lifetime than their peers, even though only 20 percent of those are for criminal activity.
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