Police launch investigation into teenage girl's arrest after ‘lesbian nana’ comment
A video uploaded to TikTok by her mother showed the girl, 16, being detained by seven officers outside her home in Leeds in the early hours of Monday, August 7.
The force said the teenager was taken back to the house at about 1am after a family member reported that she was intoxicated and “putting herself at risk in Leeds city centre”.
Alongside the footage, the girl’s mother posted on TikTok: “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.”
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 says: “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 responds: “I don’t care.”
A male officer says the girl has aimed “homophobic remarks at my colleague”. The mother is heard saying: “It’s not a homophobic remark, she said ‘I think she’s a lesbian, like my nana’.”
She later says: “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 arrive and the girl is seen screaming as she is taken away.
West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Oz Khan 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.”
The girl was later released on bail pending further inquiries and advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. He added: “West Yorkshire Police takes its responsibilities around the welfare of young people taken into custody and around neurodiversity very seriously.
“We also maintain that our officers and staff should not have to face abuse while working to keep our communities safe.”