Danielle Jacobs aka Kayden Clarke, a 24-year-old woman who identified herself as a man, was killed by Arizona police officers at his home after claiming that Kayden, a transsexual man with Asperger’s syndrome, moved toward them with a knife forcing them to fire in self-defense. Kayden was taken to a hospital following the incident but did not survive the injuries.
— Rebecca I. Allen (@rebeccaallen) February 6, 2016
Detective Esteban Flores with the Mesa Police Department told AZ Family that on February 4 around 11 a.m. police received multiple calls about a suicidal man. When officers responded to Kayden’s apartment, he told them that he had a knife and was going to hurt himself. At this time, police claim, Kayden came at the officers, who were not wearing body cameras, with the knife causing them to fear for their lives – so they fired their duty weapons [perhaps backing up was not an option].
— Morgan Potts (@mrgnptts) February 6, 2016
“She had one knife that we know of, she had something else we’re not sure what it was, the officers said it was dark inside the room. When she made contact with them she approached them with the knife, extended it out, and they felt threatened.”
Kayden’s mother, Stacia told The Daily News that the shooting was not necessary as Kayden wasn’t posing a threat.
“I talked to her last night and the night before and she seemed fine. Before the police arrived she wasn’t posing a threat to the community at all. And the police came into her own place. They shot and killed a 24-year-old autistic, mentally ill individual whom they had been familiar with and were aware of her special needs. ”
In June 2015, Kayden posted a video on YouTube, showing him having a meltdown due to Asperger’s syndrome and trying to punch himself, and Rottweiler Samson aiding him parrying the blows with its paws, which soon went viral. The video, since made private after it was viewed more than 2.4 million times, shows Kayden hitting himself in the chest and head and Samson using his paw and his body to block Kayden’s hands from his head.
“It’s like a computer. There’s too much input, there’s not enough output, you lose control and you crash. That’s what it feels like to have a meltdown. When I have a meltdown, I often have self-injurious behavior and I often self-harm,” Kayden explained to The Huffington Post.
At the time of his death, Kayden was working at Target; at Christmas time, he delivered Christmas gifts and ornaments to needy families in Mesa.
According to the Autism Asperger’s Network, 1 in 500 Americans live with Asperger’s syndrome. And according to a 2014 UCLA study, 4.6% of the overall US population has self-reported a suicide attempt, with that number climbing to between 10 and 20% for lesbian, gay or bisexual respondents. By comparison, 41% of trans or gender non-conforming people surveyed attempted suicide.
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