Thursday, November 19, 2009

How not to deal with an “unruly” 10-year-old [Updated]

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Say you’re a cop called in to settle a domestic dispute. Say there’s a little 10-year-old girl who’s being “unruly” (which presumably translates into yelling and flailing, which is about as far as unruliness goes in 10-year-olds). Your job is to restore peace and order, so how do you deal with the child?

Well, if you’re this cop from Ozark, Arkansas, you could just tase the little girl. Because, you’d have no other choice, see, according to the police chief.

POLICE CHIEF: ‘In the situation where he was at, he had no other choice. He had to get the child under control.’

The captain then explains how alternative tools to the taser could have “more serious effects”. Here’s an idea: put the stun-gun away, forget about your baton and pepper spray and anything of that sort, and just grab the girl. Hold her still until she understands that A) you’re not gonna hurt her, and that B) she isn’t going to win against you so she may as well just calm down. Another idea would be to ask her parents for some assistance.

Seriously. It’s a 10-year-old girl. We’re not exactly talking about that much resistance, here. Show some controlled force, both without hurting her physically, and without resorting to dangerous tools like the stun-gun.

Jeez. Sometimes, I wonder if common sense has left the police altogether.

Update (11/19/09 @1:50 PM) – Reading the comments from the source post at The Agitator has lead to some new, even more disturbing details.

Officer Dustin Bradshaw used a stun gun to subdue the girl, whose mother had called police in response to her daughter misbehaving at the woman's residence, according to an Ozark police report.

Bradshaw stated in the report that when he arrived at the scene, he found the girl "balled up in the floor crying and screaming (sic)," according to the report.

"I made several attempts to speak with her and she continued to behave in this manner," Bradshaw stated.

Bradshaw said the child's mother attempted to place the girl in the shower to get her ready for bed.

"I witnessed (the child) screaming, kicking and resisting every time her mother tried to touch her," Bradshaw stated. "Her mother told me to Tase her if I needed to."

Bradshaw said he and the mother carried the child to the shower, but the child refused to cooperate.

Bradshaw said after realizing there would not be a "peaceful resolution," he moved the child to the living room and told her he was going to place her under arrest, according to the report.


Bradshaw said because he had difficulty placing handcuffs on the girl, he administered a brief drive stun to the child's back with his stun gun, the report states.

"She immediately stopped resisting and was placed into handcuffs," Bradshaw stated. "She would not walk on her own and I had to carry her to my police car."

This whole mess just reeks of child abuse and stupidity. First of all, you don’t call the cops because your 10-year-old daughter is misbehaving and refuses to take a shower, for fuck’s sake. (For one thing, considering the circumstances, I’m willing to bet it’s the mother’s own fault that her daughter threw a tantrum.) Second – and most importantly – what the fuck kind of a mother asks a cop to taser her 10-year-old daughter?! See here:

The girl, who hasn't been identified, wasn't hurt and is now at the Western Arkansas Youth Shelter in Cecil.

This is blatant bullshit. Anyone who has ever known the shocking bite of a taser will assure you that it is excruciatingly painful. Hence why stun-gun victims fall over yelling in agony. Yes, some can withstand the pain better than others, but all feel it – and, need I remind you, we’re talking about a 10-year-old girl, here. If some adults can withstand the pain from the electroshock, it’s safe to assume she can’t.

If this mother truly thought her daughter needed to be tasered, she should have asked the cop to use the weapon on her first, just to see for herself what she was asking to have inflicted upon her little girl. Then, if she still agreed to have the cop taser her child, that child needs to be taken the hell away from this judgment-impaired moron immediately. Anyone who willfully submits a child to tasering is a sadistic and abusive asshole who in no way deserves to be a parent.

As for the cop (Bradshaw): as I said, he showed an egregious lack of common sense and reason when he stun-gunned the little girl. Seriously, I’ve dealt with aggressive kids that age before, and I survived. I even got them under control. If a cop, presumably stronger, faster and much better trained than I am, is unable to control a 10-year-old without resorting to brutal force like that of a stun-gun, he shouldn’t be a cop, period.

(via The Agitator and Hullabaloo)
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