Girl, 10, tasered by police with mother's permission
Thursday 19 November 2009
A police officer in a small US 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.
Officer Dustin Bradshaw said in a report that police were called to the home in Ozark, Arkansas on 11 November because of a domestic disturbance.
When he arrived, the girl was curled up on the floor, screaming, the report said.
Mr Bradshaw's report said the girl screamed, kicked and resisted any time her mother tried to get her in the shower before bed. "Her mother told me to tase her if I needed to," he wrote.
The child was "violently kicking and verbally combative" when Mr Bradshaw tried to take her into custody and she kicked him in the groin. He delivered "a very brief drive stun to her back," the report said.
The names of the girl and her mother were redacted in the report.
Mayor Vernon McDaniel said the girl wasn't injured and is now at the Western Arkansas Youth Shelter in Cecil.
However, Mr McDaniel said he wants Arkansas State Police - and if they decline, the FBI - to investigate the incident. State police have declined, and the FBI won't say whether it is involved.
"People here feel like that he made a mistake in using a Taser, and maybe he did, but we will not know until we get an impartial investigation," he said.
Police Chief Jim Noggle said no disciplinary action was taken against Mr Bradshaw. He said Tasers are a safe way to subdue people who are a danger to themselves or others.
"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," he said.
The police chief said his department has never had to Taser a child before. But he said if the officer tried to forcefully put the girl in handcuffs, he could have accidentally broken her arm or leg.
Mr Noggle said the girl will face disorderly conduct charges as a juvenile in the incident.
The girl's father, Anthony Medlock, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that his daughter has emotional problems but that she didn't have a weapon and shouldn't have been Tasered.
"My daughter does not deserve to be tased and be treated like an animal," said Mr Medlock, who is divorced from the girl's mother and does not have custody.
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