Plots and Thoughts

Using Tasers on Children

Posted in Analysis, Observations by Captain Optimistic on November 18, 2009

Feministing reports that a taser had been used on a 10 year old girl.  From MyEyeWitnessNews:

A police officer in a small Arkansas town used a stun gun on an unruly 10-year-old girl after he said her mother gave him permission to do so. Now the town’s mayor is calling for an investigation into whether the Taser use was appropriate.

Uh, NO IT WAS NOT.  There, that was a quick investigation.

“We didn’t use the Taser to punish the child – just to bring the child under control so she wouldn’t hurt herself or somebody else,” Noggle said.

If the officer tried to forcefully put the girl in handcuffs, he could have accidentally broken her arm or leg, Noggle said.

By using a taser the accident could very well have been death.

Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for Taser, said it’s up to individual law enforcement agencies to decide when Taser use is appropriate.

In some cases, a Taser “presents the safer response to resistance compared with the alternatives such as fists, kicks, baton strikes, bean bag guns, chemical agents, or canine response,” Tuttle said in a statement.

Are we to suppose the police officer might have used chemical agents on a child of 10?!

The context in which the taser was used was complex and difficult, to be sure.  But it seems like as we learn more and more about how very deadly tasers are (to the point their manufacturer now warns about where on the body to target), we are becoming more cavalier about their use.

This when we need to become more critical, especially of their usage on vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly.

Keep in mind when reading that in this case, the mother of the child consented to the taser being used.

3 Responses

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  1. Tasia said, on November 20, 2009 at 9:49 am

    My German room mate and I were watching the news here in Australia (I’m American, but living down under) this afternoon, and this headline flashed across the bottom. She was very alarmed, to say the least (jaw dropped and everything). When I told her it was becoming pretty common practice, I think it may have killed her spirit a little.

    This is one of those things that I’m becoming more aware of as uniquely American. I mean, I’m sure other places use tasers, but, like most things, American usage seems to be taking it just way too far.

    • Captain Optimistic said, on November 30, 2009 at 1:33 pm

      I can see why, it is a saddening thing from many perspectives. This was a State-aided incidence of child abuse.

      It is a very sad thing for that sort of extreme violence to define us as a people and a nation.

  2. Wizard Smoke said, on November 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Justice is served. Ahaha, by which I mean your post being written, of course!

    Really we aren’t using tasers enough. The problem is that we’re tasing the wrong people, e.g. kids instead of their shitty abusive parents.

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