Police who arrested a teenager after she said a female officer “looked like her lesbian nana” have been accused of a “callous overreaction”.
Footage posted online showed the 16-year-old being detained by seven officers at her home in Leeds, West Yorkshire, at around 1am on Monday.
Officers had driven the teenager home after her family told police she was “intoxicated in the city centre”.
She allegedly made the comment upon her return and was then dragged away screaming after being accused of homophobia by the force.
The incident was recorded by the girl’s mother who uploaded the footage to TikTok.
The mother posted: “This is what police do when dealing with autistic children. My daughter told me the police officer looked like her nana, who is a lesbian.
“The officer took it the wrong way and said it was a homophobic comment (it wasn’t).
“The officer then entered my home. My daughter was having panic attacks from being touched by them and they still continued to manhandle her.”
‘This is absolutely disgusting’
Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood, said: “This is absolutely disgusting, poor girl.
“I will be seeking answers on what seems to me a monstrous and callous overreaction.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said a 16-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of a homophobic public order offence but urged people to “avoid reaching conclusions solely on the basis of the social media video” which “only provides a very limited snapshot of the circumstances of this incident”.
The video shows two officers in the hallway of the family’s home, while the girl sits in a corner next to a cupboard.
A female officer with short blonde hair can be heard saying “she’s going to be arrested”.
The girl’s mother said: “She’s made a comment in her own house, she hasn’t said anything to you.”
The mother says that the teenager is autistic, and the officer responded: “I don’t care.”
A male officer said the girl had aimed “homophobic remarks at my colleague”.
‘It’s not a homophobic remark’
The mother is heard saying: “It’s not a homophobic remark, she said ‘I think she’s a lesbian, like my nana’.”
She added: “You’re going to remove her for what, you’re bothered she said the word lesbian? Her nana is a lesbian, she’s married to a woman. She’s not homophobic.”
More officers then arrived and the girl was seen screaming as she was taken away.
Oz Khan, assistant chief constable, said: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media which, as is often the case, only provides a very limited snapshot of the circumstances of this incident.
“Officers had their body-worn video cameras activated during their wider involvement with this young girl which provides additional context to their actions.
“We have received a complaint in relation to this incident which is currently being assessed by West Yorkshire Professional Standards Directorate.
“While that ongoing process and the active criminal investigation limit our ability to fully discuss the incident in detail, we feel it is important for people to have some context about the circumstances.”