Jack Jackson, a 16-year-old from the United Kingdom, says that police unfairly tackled him to ground and arrested him for drunk and disorderly conduct. He was not drunk as they accused—he was having a diabetic episode because of his type 1 diabetes.
The teenager was with his friends watching the England versus Panama World Cup match in Kent, England when his day took a dark turn. According to Jack, he was unwittingly having a blood sugar episode, his adrenaline was rising, and the behavior of police and security guards toward him was unacceptable.
Jack says that one of his friends got kicked out of the game by a security guard so Jack went to find him, but the security guards wouldn’t let him out of the game. Jack says, “They had no right to keep me in there, so I started pulling the fence saying ‘you need to let me out of here.'”
He was finally let out of the fenced area, but was unable to figure out what had happened with his friend. When he tried to get back into the game, security officers told him that he needed to leave. According to Jack, “There were two minutes left of the football and all my mates were in there so I went to go back in but the police officer who was right next to me just pushed me and said: ‘You need to leave.'”
Jack explained to the guard that he hadn’t been kicked out but had only left to check on his friend. Jack admits to getting upset at that point and swearing at the guard, calling him a “w****r.”
According to Jack, he then tried to walk away but was grabbed by the arm and tripped. Then three officers dropped him to the ground where he injured his elbow and shoulder and smashed his phone. “I didn’t realize what was happening and it caused a lot of pain,” Jack said. “They were sitting on top of me, that’s when I was told I was under arrest.” Jack was handcuffed with his hands behind his back. Once Jack was in the back of the police van, the officer reportedly asked him, “Who’s the f*****g w****r now?”
Jack hadn’t had any alcohol, so when he was accused of being drunk he asked for a breathalyzer test, but he wasn’t given one. The six-foot-four teen said he was probably mistaken for an adult, and no one asked his age until he was at the police station.
Jack’s mother Tina picked him up from the station, where she said the staff reported that Jack had been very polite and didn’t deserve to be there. When she and Jack got home they found that his ketones were dangerously high. Jack took insulin and his blood sugar began to normalize as he calmed down.
Everyone’s blood range is between four and seven,” Tina said (the UK uses a different system than the US), “Jack’s was 35 plus—that means his meter cannot read anymore. That sends him angry, confused, frustrated. He just goes crazy. Diabetes is really an awful disease, it’s terrible.”
Jack says he’s angry about what happened, and he still has a lot of pain in his shoulder from falling after being tripped. He says the police were too rough with him and he was handled as if he had a gun. “I wasn’t being a threat to the pubic, I was just having a hypo,” he said. Jack says he would like an apology from the Kent police.
According to the Kent Police, Jack was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and for being disorderly, causing a breach of the peace, and verbally abusing staff and police officers. Jack was released without charge. Because of the formal complaint, the police spokesperson said it would not be appropriate to comment further.
Jack feels he was made to look “like scum” in front of other people even though he didn’t do anything wrong. “It was rough but at least England won,” he says.
Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.