A police officer in Kankakee has a curious method of applied learning for children. While visiting the Kankakee Junior High School, he called for volunteers and tasered students in a demonstration. One of the parents rushed her son to the hospital because he has a pre-existing heart murmur.
The parents say that the officer went into a class and promptly announced “Who wants a Taser?”
Fortunately, Alta Young’s son with the heart condition turned out fine.
This is not the first officer to have fun with high voltage, here and here and here and here.
For the full story, click here.
45 thoughts on “Taser Tots: Kankakee Police Officer Tasers Children in Demonstration”
You asked why the cop’s name wasn’t in the story.
Cops are becoming the criminals, that is why.
“The recent 9th Circuit Court decision, have you read it?”
Yes. I’ve read it, and I concur with it.
“The recent Maryland ECW Report: have you read it?”
No. I have not read it.
“The Canadian Braidwood Inquiry report on tasers: have you read it? It’s thick.”
No. I have not read it.
“Someone dares to suggest that perhaps school children shouldn’t be tasered, and suddenly the debate is populated by law enforcement personnel preaching the benefits of tasers.”
Those bastards! Next thing you know they will show that the use of tasers has led to a decrease in the number of injuries to officers and arrestees. You must stop them!
Imagine that – The Federal Government announces a moratorium on tasers
Are you aware that your arguments are stale, and that they’re miles away from where the taser debate is actually occurring these days? Man-oh-man, you have some serious catching-up to do.
The recent 9th Circuit Court decision, have you read it?
The recent Maryland ECW Report: have you read it?
The Canadian Braidwood Inquiry report on tasers: have you read it? It’s thick.
These are rhetorical question because it is obvious that you haven’t.
New topic: I’m going to have to write up an analysis for my blog, and I mean an analysis in the sense of psychiatric analysis, about why so many police officers are so frightened that someone is going to “take their tasers away”.
It’s something that I just clearly noticed today.
It would be funny except that the resultant irrationality spills over into the debate.
FOR EXAMPLE – Someone dares to suggest that perhaps school children shouldn’t be tasered, and suddenly the debate is populated by law enforcement personnel preaching the benefits of tasers.
It makes me very suspicious…
“If and when tasers are actually used to replace lethal force, perhaps that’s a good thing. Problem is, they’re actually used ABOUT a hundred times more often. So the claim that tasers are “less lethal” (than guns) is only applicable ABOUT 1% of the time. The other 99% of the time tasers are “more lethal” (than other options).”
Sometimes a taser can be used to replace lethal force, and sometimes it cannot. I remember when shooting an assailant wielding a knife was standard procedure. Today, a taser is more likely to be used. Do you want to go back? I don’t.
I think the problem of abuse can be pretty easily addressed. However, the problem of over-use is much more difficult. It’s usually a judgment call, and someone will always claim that it could have or should have been handled differently. Those claims are usually made by those who have never been in a position that required them to protect others, as well as themselves. Too many people don’t take the officer’s well-being into consideration, at all.
The taser is a great tool to take “the fight” out of the encounter. During fights, both officers and suspects end up being hurt. This usually escalates when back-up arrives.
The taser is also turning out to be a pretty good deterrent. Most people will surrender rather than be tased.
The taser will probably replace the nightstick. The nightstick can be used to prod, or it can be used to crack a skull wide-open. I think you would have to agree that being tased is not as bad as being hit upside the head with a nightstick. In the early 80’s, I had a large man come straight at me. He was saying “I’m going to kill you”. He was big enough to do it to. I was in fear for my life. I could have justified shooting him. Instead I hit him with my stick. He went down like a ton of bricks. He suffered permanent damage. I wish I would have had a taser.
Deputy Dawg, “…taser abuse. That’s the real problem. Crying everytime a taser is used dillutes your message. Limit the outrage to only those time where the case is clearly abuse, and not just use, …”
The phrase that I (and others) have settled on is “overuse, misuse and abuse” of tasers. Our scale runs from use, to overuse, to misuse, and finally abuse.
Complaining ONLY about the worst cases of outrageous taser abuse is about as morally courageous as taking a stand against (for example) canibalism.
It would also play into the hands of the stungun salesmen. They’d be perfectly happy to see the end of the worst examples of taser abuse, provided that taser overuse, such as tasering mouthy grannies, can continue. No downside for them.
When discussing moral and ethical issues, defining the far ends of the spectrum is not informative. The real debate, for those that are keeping up (ahem), is where to draw the line closer to the muddled middle.
Refering to taser “abuse” (obviously the extreme), and distinguishing it from arguably-justifiable taser use, is exactly that sort of distracting, polarizing, uninformative, non-starter.
The recent 9th Circuit Court decision was vastly more useful in that it directly addressed the overuse of tasers. By providing guidance on the dividing line between use and overuse, it provided good useful and relatively clear cut direction.
By addressing the overuse, the misuse and abuse are obviously incorporated. And it makes turning a blind eye to taser abuse, already clearly illegal, less likely.
If and when tasers are actually used to replace lethal force, perhaps that’s a good thing. Problem is, they’re actually used ABOUT a hundred times more often. So the claim that tasers are “less lethal” (than guns) is only applicable ABOUT 1% of the time. The other 99% of the time tasers are “more lethal” (than other options).
At this point taser fan boys drag out “studies” that indicate that tasers “are safer”. Since many fan boys are too lazy to actually read the reports (ahem), they fail to notice that these reports exclude any taser associated deaths (because the deaths due to “excited delirium”, circular logic at the highest level), and they also inexplicably exclude any taser injuries (they don’t count because such injuries, puncture wounds, burns, are considered to be mere byproducts). By such “logic”, typically applied by researchers that have accepted money from Taser International, they conclude that tasers “are safer”.
It takes quite a bit of digging to put the whole picture together. After a while you start to see example after example where Taser International uses arguments to win individual battles, but the various arguments they use contradict each other when viewed together.
Duh: “A taser is not the proper weapon if the officer considers their life to be in jeopardy.”
It is more and more becoming the weapon of choice when possible. It doesn’t ricochet, and a taser that misses doesn’t hit an innocent bystander across the street. I’ll take tasers drawn over guns drawn every day of the week.
“I remember a case I had a few years back. I believe 18 officers returned fire with 112 bullets fired. Only 2 hit the suspect as he was hidden in some bushes. It turns out that the person was of Mexican descent at a rather bad place to stay. He was armed with a BB Gun.”
That’s why they started putting flourescent red tips on the end of non-lethal weapons. Look at it on the bright side, if you get pulled over today, and something goes wrong, you’re more likely to be tased than shot. (So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.)
Thanks. I’ll try to look at those videos tomorrow.
“So if you believe that tasers are dangerous if used repeatedly, something confirmed by Prof Savard who studied the real-world data and found a linear relationship between the duration of exposure and the actual risk of death, and yet these corporate miscreants are denying that there is any connection, then what are we to do?”
You do exactly what you have done here. You spread the word about the dangers of taser abuse. That’s the real problem. Crying everytime a taser is used dillutes your message. Limit the outrage to only those time where the case is clearly abuse, and not just use, and more people will listen and do something about it.
“There’s even a procurement law issue here. The manufacturer clearly states that tasers are safe, almost implies that tasers are fun.”
A 9mm is pretty safe too, when used properly, and for the right purpose. Do we have a lot of problems with people being unknowingly injured by using a taser that they thought was safe? The accompanying documentation, I thought, was pretty good at identifying the potential risk of proper use. I’ll admit that it has been a few years since I read the included book.
“Taking the position that tasers are good, but can kill if deployed repeatedly, given the marketing assurances to the contrary, is a bit like an athiest attending church for the free wine.”
I think you’ll find that more and more officers are becoming aware of the risk associated with repeated tasing.
I remember a case I had a few years back. I believe 18 officers returned fire with 112 bullets fired. Only 2 hit the suspect as he was hidden in some bushes. It turns out that the person was of Mexican descent at a rather bad place to stay. He was armed with a BB Gun.
There was some very unhappy officers after that shooting.
If you will look at the taser videos here on this site you will see more than just what I have described.
“I guess Texas is the exception in Taser abuses.”
Does more taser abuse occur in Texas?
“Why would an Officer need to take an old lady, albeit a Bitch for lack of a better word down for not signing a traffic ticket?”
I can’t think of a good reason.
“What about when a person will not get out of the vehicle and the officer tases them. Is this the correct thing to do?”
That’s not an easy call to make. Do you have more details?
“Under neither of the circumstances was the officers life at stake. This seems to be over reacting or over reaching. Granted if the officers had had tasers when Rodney King was beaten would it have made a difference as he was hopped up on something?”
I agree. The situations, as you described them do not indicate that the officer’s life was at stake. The use of a taser in those circumstances was probably not warranted. I don’t know what would have happened with Rodney King. If all of those officers had taser, we may have had worse problems. King may have been killed.
At first glance, I would say that a taser was not called for. I’d need more information to be sure.
What if the officer tried to arrest granny (the next thing to do), and she decides to resist? Was there a good chance that she was about to head into traffic? If she tried to resist, what is the acceptable injury to the officer while trying to stop her? Should we just expect the officer to endure the assault? I think you’d be surprised at how hard these grannies can hit. These are always tough calls. In most circumstances, it would be better to just wait them out.
If the well-being of the officer is in question, force is used.
A taser is not the proper weapon if the officer considers their life to be in jeopardy. Deadly force is authorized if the officer is in fear for their life. In all cases, the least amount of force necessary should be used.
Rodney King is a good example of when proper use of a taser could have been of real benefit.
Taser International has a webpage called Cardiac Safety. Their bought-and-paid-for shrill, “Dr.” (not a medical doctor) Mark Kroll, has written this page and one of his claims is that repeated taserings are exactly as safe as one taser deployment. He literally compares being repeatedly tasered to being repeatedly hit with a ping-pong ball.
This waste of meat sits on Taser International’s Board of Directors, and their “Medical” Advisory Board. He also normally sits on a thick stack of TASR stock options (although I don’t track this continuously).
So if you believe that tasers are dangerous if used repeatedly, something confirmed by Prof Savard who studied the real-world data and found a linear relationship between the duration of exposure and the actual risk of death, and yet these corporate miscreants are denying that there is any connection, then what are we to do?
There’s even a procurement law issue here. The manufacturer clearly states that tasers are safe, almost implies that tasers are fun.
Some departments actually divorce themselves from these false claims, and actually set what might be reasonable policy. But the false message from the manufacturer makes an end-run around the police leadership’s explicit direction, and you end with weak-minded police officers offering to taser school children for fun.
It’s a basic element of procurement that there should be a common understanding of what is being procured. If the buyer thinks that tasers are fully capable of killing given circumstances or bad luck, while the vender claims that they’re essentially perfectly safe with respect to inherent internal risk factors such as cardiac effects (for example), then the procurement should not be permitted to proceed. The reason is that bad things will continue to happen. On my blog I gave an imaginary example about “skid-proof” tires.
Taking the position that tasers are good, but can kill if deployed repeatedly, given the marketing assurances to the contrary, is a bit like an athiest attending church for the free wine.
I guess Texas is the exception in Taser abuses. Why would an Officer need to take an old lady, albeit a Bitch for lack of a better word down for not signing a traffic ticket?
What about when a person will not get out of the vehicle and the officer tases them. Is this the correct thing to do?
If the above are acceptable then I think the use should be ceased.
Under neither of the circumstances was the officers life at stake. This seems to be over reacting or over reaching. Granted if the officers had had tasers when Rodney King was beaten would it have made a difference as he was hopped up on something?
I’ve seen lots of videos indicating taser abuse. I’ve also seen lots of videos, and read lots of stories, where cries of taser abuse have been sounded, but I found the use to be justified. I’d rather address the ones involving long duration and repeated shocks. Too many of the others are a judgment call.
One of the things that cause police officers to over-react is fear. Tasers have been pretty effective at lowering the cases of suspects being beaten into submission.
With proper restrictions, I think the taser can be a very beneficial tool. Until those restrictions are fully implimented, we will continue to see abuse.
A bean bag can be very effective in certain situations. The problem is that it needs to be fired from a shotgun. That makes it hard to put in a holster.
AY is right, there appears to be a large number of Taser abuse. A Taser is not a play toy and can do damage to a human body. Isn’t there some other sort of non-lethal force that can be used? The safety of the Officer is paramount but you must levin that with the rights of citizens.
What I have seen makes me think I would rather have a been bag to the diaphragm than be tased.
It is hard being in law enforcement and a big responsibility. You must understand that you are the first line of protection from an out of control government as well as from criminals. It is a hard line to walk I am sure.
Stupid cops are a bigger threat to our liberty than the guy that mugs you. You can fight the mugger, it is much harder to fight the state.
Have you seen any of the videos here about some of the aberrant uses of the taser?
I’m a firm believer in 8 hours between bottle and throttle, although I have been known to have A (meaning one) glass of wine when out for dinner. A glass of wine per day is supposed to be good for you. The legal limit as it relates to driving is a compromise between safety and the night club/alcohol industry. Acceptable and legal are two different rationals.
When I look for injuries that are directly attributable to taser training (a single discharge lasting no longer than 5 seconds), I look for those that are not preventable.
Many people just want taser use to be discontinued. I think they perform a great benefit with little risk when properly used. By properly used, I mean to subdue a suspect that is a threat to themself or others. I find very few circumstances when a secondary discharge would be acceptable, and at no time is a duration of greater than 5 seconds acceptable. They used to call them stun guns. They work well to stun. This gives the officer a chance to subdue the suspect with little resistance. When they are used repeatedly to render a suspect unable to provide even the slightest resistance, they are being abused.
I like a taser in lieu of a nightstick for most circumstances.
Please define what you consider “directly attributed?” Then once the ground work of your choosing is established then I will fill in the blank for you.
Think in these terms: Alcohol is ok to drink in acceptable places, is this correct? It is even ok and acceptable to drive? Now if you drink and drive then some actions are acceptable so long as you are under the legal definition of intoxication, would you not agree?
Some bad things do happen to people who make the choice to drink and drive that are below the legal definition of intoxication, would you not agree?
How ever, the unintended consequences are directly attributed to alcohol are they not?
Thanks for stopping by. When you are willing to post a hyperlink to a reliable source, I’ll be happy to look at the information. The tinyurl link was just to a Google search result. I’ve got better things to do than play scratch-off.
I didn’t say that my research didn’t turn up any results. I only said that I had not heard of any injuries reported that could be directly attributed to tasers.
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