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by Peter Moskos

November 18, 2009

Police Officer Uses Taser On 10-Year-Old Girl

As a reader pointed out: "She was just too big and tough, I guess."

My point (again) isn't that cops violated their rules. It's that the rules are wrong!

Update November 19: The officer involved has been suspended for seven days (with pay, mind you). This is an example of the worst functionings in a police department.

If policy is policy, why punish the officer who executes the policy? Because the brass is trying to cover theirs by putting his out to dry. In this case they banged the officer not for using the taser but for not having a video camera attached when he did. Now I'm no taser expert, but that seems like a B.S. reason if I've ever heard one. But if they want to get you, they can.


Jeff N said...

This story seems odd to me. I'm thinking he might not be suspended for the taser use, but for tremendous lack of judgment?

The police report says she refused to go to bed and resisted as he was carrying her to the shower. So he was going to take her to jail. Is that normal?

Police report at this link:


PCM said...

I wish he could be suspended for tremendous lack of judgment!

I don't want to come off as defending this cop. Stunning and arresting a 10-year-old girl is wrong. I just don't like it when the department needs to get you so they find *something*.

And why hasn't the department said, "Gee, maybe our too-liberal Taser policy is the root of the problem"?

Anonymous said...

Requiring vide on the tasers and enforcing that rule (with punishments) seems like the best rule of all. This case is easy because it was a ten year old girl. In many cases, the video will be the BEST way to evaluate whether the popo made a grave error in judgement when he chose to electroshock. IOW, many of the worst errors are made on 20 year olds or 30 year olds. These are the most frequent type of mistakes that we (as a society) need to punish. It is kind of sad that they need a 10 year old electrochock victim to start enforcing the camera rule, but at least a greater good was achieved here. Focussing on the camera (or lack thereof, I mean) is the best possible outcome, outside of outcomes where the 10 year old went unTasered, of course.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. I've dealt with some pretty nasty kids. One of our guys got a good kick in the balls from an 8-year-old. Not sure whether he nailed the kid with felony battery to a peace officer though.

I'd guess this NYPD officer's motivation to Tase the girl came more from anger and frustration (hey, we've all felt it) than a legitimate law enforcement need (who can't subdue a ten-year-old girl?) but seriously, who knows? Call me overprotective of my brothers in blue, but we don't know the whole story.

All I do know is that I've stumbled across one or two kids in my career that I'd LIKE to have Tased. And they would have deserved it. The parents too, for that matter.