Stafford Trial Muddied By Issues Of Race, Autism | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Stafford Trial Muddied By Issues Of Race, Autism

Play associated audio

18-year old Reginald Latson was found guilty of assault and battery of an enforcement officer, both of those are felonies. He was also found guility of two midemeanors in connection with the case.

Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

Last May, Latson, who suffers from Asperger syndrome, was sitting outside a library in Stafford when he was approached by a police officer and a confrontation ensued.

ORIGINAL POST: On May 24, Reginald Latson, an autistic 18-year-old, was sitting outside of a public library in Stafford before it opened. He got restless, so he went for a walk in some woods nearby.

That's when police say they received a call about a suspicious man in the area, possibly carrying a gun. A police officer came across Latson in the woods and approached him.

Police say Latson brutally attacked the officer after simply being asked to identify himself. Latson's mother, Lisa Alexander, says it's the officer who made the first physical contact.

"As my son tries to walk away, the officer tries to grab my son from behind, and that is when the struggle ensues," she says.

Police say the incident left the officer with lacerations to his head, and a broken ankle; no weapon was ever found.

Latson is now on trial, facing nine felony counts, including malicious wounding of an officer.

Latson's mother claims he was provoked by racial slurs used by the officer.

Ann Gibbons, the director of Autism Speaks for the National Capital area, says the case isn't just about race or disputed evidence. It's about a scenario that every parent of an autistic child fears every day.

"Latson is on trial today, but all of us feel that our sons are on trial today, because this could be our set of facts," she says.

No one from the sheriff's office responded to a request for comment on the case. Closing arguments begin Friday morning.

NPR

'Getting On' Star Niecy Nash: 'I Never Wanted To Be Funny'

Nash says it took her a long time to see her comedic side as a gift, but she finally embraced it. Now her role as Nurse DiDi in the HBO comedy series has opened the door to more serious opportunities.
WAMU 88.5

Hops Coming Home: Loudoun County To Add Hop Production Facility

The first commercial-scale hop production and processing facility in the region is being planned out in Loudoun County, further adding to the region's burgeoning beer business.

NPR

Families Feel Sidelined As U.S. Reviews Hostage Policy

The White House is reviewing how it handles hostage crises following the brutal murders of Americans abroad, but families of hostages say they're often left out of the conversation.
NPR

Marine Corps Finds It Tough To Shut Down Sexist Facebook Groups

Female Marines are being humiliated and generally degraded by their peers on Facebook. The groups' pages are frequently shut down, but return within days due to a dedicated following.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.