Cop uses Taser on 8-year-old girl & it's a good thing he did
Normally, I would not be able to conceive of a situation where it would be acceptable to use a taser on an 8-year-old girl. And normally, if I were to hear of a little girl getting stunned by a cop, I would flip out, but strangely enough I'm totally okay with a South Dakota police officer that has been cleared of any wrongdoing for having used his Taser on--you guessed it--an 8-year-old girl. You see, the little girl was under the care of a babysitter on October 4 and the police were called because the child was making suicidal comments and allegedly stabbing herself in the leg. According to Pierre Police On October 9, Chief Bob Grandpre defended the officer's actions by saying, "He quite possibly saved the juvenile's life that night." Given the details I might have to agree. I'll tell you what I know and you let me know how you feel about it.
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So police officers responded to the call and found the little girl holding a knife about 4.5 inches long, she was pointing it to her chest, and when officers spoke to her she did not respond. At some an officer stepped toward her and she turned the knife toward the officer, then turned it back on herself, that's when the officer in question used the Taser and stunned her.
Now, it may seem like excessive force and in most cases I would totally agree. "Tasers are for grown adults, not 8-year-old girls," the girl's father , Bobby Jones, who was not there at the time, said later. I totally agree. The girl's mother Dawn Stenstrom said: "How much harm could she have done?" She also said that she had never known her daughter to get so out of control that she would need physical restraint. Oh another detail to note, is that upon being examined the child had no stab wounds on her leg. But the thing is the child was wielding a knife, making suicidal comments, out of control enough that the babysitter saw fit to call the cops, so maybe--just maybe--this situation was a little out of control and the officer handled it the best way he could at the moment.
It should also be noted that once the officer stunned the child, he manually deactivated it instead of letting it run for its normal five second cycle. The child was not hurt, but she was most definitely in pain that whole night.
I truly am sorry to hear that a Taser was used on a child, but maybe this one time it was the best choice available to save her life. Who knows what she would have done to herself if they let her walk away with a knife pointed to her chest?
Image via Thinkstock
Do you think the officer was out of line for using a Taser?