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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

2nd officer in Taser incident suspended - taser used on 10-year-old at daycare centre

July 7, 2010
By Vic Ryckaert, Indystar.com

The Martinsville Board of Works handed a 45-day suspension to a Martinsville police officer who used a stun gun on a 10-year-old boy, Mayor Phil Deckard said. Officer Darren Johnson also was placed on departmental probation for two years and must write an apology to the boy, Deckard said.

The board's punishment, announced Tuesday, exceeded Martinsville Police Chief Jon A. David's recommendation of a 30-day suspension and 1-year probation. The other Martinsville officer involved in the incident, Capt. William Jennings, a 36-year veteran, resigned effective July 8.

Johnson and Jennings were accused of using excessive force when they subdued the 94-pound boy at the Tender Teddies Day Care in Martinsville on March 30. Two weeks ago, Special Prosecutor David Powell cleared both officers of criminal wrongdoing. The special-needs boy was "biting, kicking, spitting, cursing and striking others with his hands" and attempting to bang his head, according to the special prosecutor's report.

Jennings slapped the boy, and Johnson used a stun gun to deliver an electric jolt and calm the boy's aggression. The Taser's electrified prongs were not discharged.
Jennings did not mention the slapping or the use of the Taser in his police report.

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