Transit cop targeted by protesters loses job

Marcus Abrams' Facebook profile photo
Marcus Abrams' Facebook profile photo is a montage of images of his injuries, and the Black Lives Matter march in response to the alleged beating of the developmentally disabled teen by Metro Transit Police in August.
Marc Abrams | Facebook

Metro Transit has dismissed a police officer accused of using excessive force to arrest a teenager with autism.

The transportation agency said Richard Wegner "failed probation" and is no longer an employee. Wegner had worked as a part-time Metro Transit police officer since 1993. He was hired on full time in March. Under state civil service rules, police officers can be "summarily dismissed" during their first year without the usual due process.

The Minneapolis NAACP called for Wegner's dismissal after he arrested 17-year-old Marcus Abrams for standing on light rail tracks in August.

Abrams' mother later told police her son suffers from autism, seizures and anger management problems. A 2012 audit of the Metro Transit Police Department encouraged leaders to reconsider allowing the use of "carotid control" choke holds like the one Wegner used. The New York Police Department and others have banned such holds, although law enforcement groups insist they are a safe and effective means of subduing a suspect. Wegner couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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