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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Arkansas officer Tasers 10-year-old girl who resisted bedtime shower

November 18, 2009
USA Today

Last week a 10-year-old Arkansas girl who refused to shower before bedtime and threw a fit was zapped with a police Taser after her mother gave the officer permission. The girl was then handcuffed and taken to a youth shelter, accused of disorderly conduct. She apparently was not injured.

Today, the mayor of tiny Ozark called on the state police or the FBI to investigate whether the electronic weapon should have been used on someone so young, the Associated Press reports.

"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," said Mayor Vernon McDaniel.

The state police declined, saying it only investigates criminal, not policy, matters. The FBI also demurred.

Police Chief Jim Noggle said no disciplinary action was taken against Officer Dustin Bradshaw for the Nov. 11 incident. He said Tasers can safely 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," Noggle said, adding that she was zapped for "less than a second."

He explained that had the officer tried to forcefully handcuff the girl he could have broken one of her arms or legs.

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 Medlock, who is divorced from the girl's mother and does not have custody.

Keep reading for the details from the police report, which blacked out the identifies of the girl and her mother. Then it's your turn to start kicking and screaming about this.

According Bradshaw's report, police were called to a home because of a domestic disturbance. When he arrived, the girl was curled up on the floor, "screaming, kicking, and resisting every time her mother tried to touch her." Her mother told the officer he could "tase her" if needed, and they then carried the girl into the shower. The girl continued to defy her mother's orders.

"At this point I decided that there was not going to be a peaceful resolution to the issue," Bradshaw wrote. "I moved her into the living room and told her she was going to jail. She continued kicking and crying and I began to try to place her under arrest. She was jerking her arms away from me violently while I was trying to cuff her and thrashing about wildly.

"While she was violently kicking and verbally combative, [the girl] struck me with her legs and feet in the groin. The subject was actively resisting arrest at this time. I was having a difficult time placing the cuffs on her and administered a very very brief drive stun to her back with my taser. She immediately stopped resisting and was placed into handcuffs. She would not walk on her own and I had to carry her to my police car. ..."

1 comment:

middle aged mama said...

I am so disgusted by this whole episode that I barely know where to start. the mother is obviously a deluded person with absolutely no knowledge of child development and how ot set ptiorities, whether her child is "emotionally disturbed" ir not. (and what child growing up in a home where the poolice are routinely called to resolve temper tantrums and crying could be other than elotionally disturbed?) the oplice are fools for going along with it - is there really no crime in Ozark Arkansas, or do the police have enough sense to say, "sorry, ma'am, your child;s bathing habits are not a law enforcement matter." then they send a male cop in to carry the girl to the bathroom - and they take orders from the mother who WANTED her child hit with a tawer! I hope the father, who so far has been the on-custodial parent, can step up to the plate and give that child a glimmer of a chance at a normal childhood and sane adulthood, but I fear it can't happen in that town. I despise CHI;ld "Protective" Services as interfering busybodies who are too judgmental in most cases, but SOME child advocacy agency ahs got to get that little girl away from this mother who tasers her by proxy throuugh the police before the chipld becomes a casualty. Shame on all of them (the cpolice chief who backed his "boy" up, the mother who has made this small child a "baby monster", the court system who can;t figure out how to get a highly disturbed family the help they need, and to some extent, evben the father, who should know just how volatile and inappropriate hsi former wife is with his child. ; I'm going to have a hard time feeling much sympathy even though mom is almost surely mentally ill hersself, and/or alcohoilic, if the girl turns on her mother one of these days.