Sticks and Stones May . . . Result in a Tasering: Colorado Police Taser Unruly 10-Year-Old Boy Because Using Pepper Spray Would Have Endangered Officer

We recently saw how a taser was used on a ten-year-old girl who refused to take a bath in Arkansas, here. Now, police in Pueblo, Colorado have tasered a 10-year-old boy who threw a stick at an officer and was holding a pipe. Captain Jeff Teschner defended his deputies by saying that the use of pepper spray would have put the officers in danger with an unruly ten-year-old boy.

Teschner insisted that “They couldn’t get close enough to deploy pepper spray without putting themselves in danger.”

I missed this part of Mr. Rogers’ lessons on handling unruly ten-year-olds. First you speak with them and, if they do not listen, you hit them with 50,000 volts.

What is amazing is that they then jailed the 10-year-old from Monday to Thursday. It is not clear if or when he was released.

The police were supported by the boy’s foster father, Daniel Bilby, who noted that “[a] two-foot piece of pipe can do a lot of damage, I don’t care who is swinging it. If they go and try and tackle him and try and take it away from him, even if he doesn’t hurt them, they’re probably going to hurt him a lot worse than the tazer did. I think what they did was right. I’m completely behind what they did.”

I’m sorry, I am sympathetic to the officers’ concern, but the boy was cornered. With at least two officers, I fail to see why it is necessary to shoot the boy with a taser — an event that not only causes severe pain but a lasting emotional impact on a kid. We have seen officers using extraordinary and commendable restraint in such cases, here. My concern is how this powerful device has become a weapon of choice for some officers who have made taserings commonplace. including in the use against children (here).

For the full story, click here.

Kudos: Digby blog

14 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones May . . . Result in a Tasering: Colorado Police Taser Unruly 10-Year-Old Boy Because Using Pepper Spray Would Have Endangered Officer”

  1. I am happy about this ruling. It’s the thin black robed line between us and one very corrupt govt.!

  2. Jill –

    Excellent update – thank you.

    Can tasers be used for pain compliance or should they be deployed only in defense by an officer facing an immediate threat?

    I know the right answer.

  3. Having worked with it and in it, I can attest that the Foster Care System is a cruel joke, told in the name of humane treatment. If two cops can’t safely handle a ten year old kid with a pipe, they should be in another line of work. The truth baldly stares us in the face and it is sadistic pleasure.

  4. Colorado is crazy.

    Why didn’t they just shoot this dangerous individual in the knees so to get him to the ground.

    Jailing a ten-yr old for several days….. anyone in this story is mental. Lock THEM up for several years.

  5. Mindslant,

    You’re right, of course. Tomorrow’s children will indeed be battle tested at this rate. Hopefully they will live a life highly skeptical of abusive government authority. Perhaps they will hand their own children a better society than we have created for them.

    On a related story from a few months ago, I wrote:

    Why not fit loud school students with shock belts so that administrators can keep order in the classroom?

    If corporal punishment is allowed in schools, why not allow the taser instead?

    I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

  6. I used to work in a school for children with behavior problems. We never let things get this escalated. There’s more going on here than was reported. probably a foster family that was in over their heads (many families are poorly screened or have more good intentions than ability to deal with kids who’ve been through the mills).

  7. I like how the foster “father” is totally behind the police. Foster parents are horrible.

    We used to live two houses down from a house that was crammed with foster kids. The oldest one was a 13 year old kid, understandably maladjusted, but with the sweetest personality. Since he was the oldest kid there, the foster parents would send him to a pizzeria several miles away to get an extra large pizza, EVERY NIGHT. It was ridiculous. Everyone knew they were too lazy to do any cooking themselves and they liked pizza for being cheap. (The pizza at this place was awful.)

    There was a gang of bullies that hung out at this pizzeria. Every time he showed up they beat the living crap out of him. He was covered with bruises all the time. I was there once in a while and whenever I saw him he was being picked on, mocked, pushed, punched, whatever. One day he was lying on the ground face up, with an older kid kneeling on top of him punching him in the face over and over again. Everyone else was cheering.

    My mother slammed the brakes and pulled over, got out of the car, and screamed at them all, chasing them everywhere, threatening to call the police. They scattered and the little foster kid got up and slowly figured out a way to keep his smashed glasses from falling off his face. (They were a few prescriptions out of date, but that’s another story.) He stumbled ten feet over, picked up a torn, crumpled box, carefully flipped it over, and walked back home- struggling to hold together the saddest excuse for a destroyed pizza we had ever seen in our lives.

  8. Deborah–

    I also think it’s because some police–as well as other people– have become lazy in regard to using their brains, good judgment, common sense to think through the best way to handle troublesome situations. Why spend time talking to a child and trying to calm him down when you can just zap him with a taser? After all…this is the electronic age.”

  9. I have to think that all this tasering has to do with keeping the citizenry cowed and afraid. Consider: are you more or less likely to demonstrate against the government if you might be hit with 50,000 volts just for being in the wrong place or seeming to be disrespectful.

  10. As a public school teacher I wonder when we will have the taser option for kindergartners. One of the core reasons for school is to prepare them for the real world and now in the real world you will almost certainly be tasered for something.

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