A New Mexico policeman is accused in a new lawsuit of tasering a 10-year-old child on a playground after the boy refused to clean his patrol car. The lawsuit has been filed by a guardian ad litem, Rachel Higgins, and accuses New Mexico Department of Public Safety and Motor Transportation Police Officer Chris Webb of the battery on the child.
Higgins alleges that Webb visited the boy’s school as part of a May 4 “career day” visit to Tularosa New Mexico Intermediate School. The complaint alleges:
“Defendant Webb asked the boy, R.D., in a group of boys, who would like to clean his patrol unit. A number of boys said that they would. R.D., joking, said that he did not want to clean the patrol unit.
Defendant Webb responded by pointing his Taser at R.D. and saying, ‘Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.'”
The Complaint says that Webb then shot “two barbs into R.D.’s chest” delivering 50,000 volts to the boy who weighed less than 100 lbs. “Defendant Webb pulled the barbs out [of] the boy’s chest, causing scarring where the barbs had entered the boy’s skin that look like cigarette burns on the boy’s chest. . . . Instead of calling emergency medical personnel, Officer Webb pulled out the barbs and took the boy to the school principal’s office.”
The lawsuit is seeking punitive damages for battery, failure to render emergency medical care, excessive force, unreasonable seizure, and negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention.
News reports indicate that the officer insisted that his taser went off accidentally. However, while this would undermine criminal charges, the question remains of the disciplining of the officer who drew a weapon as a joke on a child. The attorneys submitted a letter from an expert finding no likely malfunctioning of the weapon.
Source: CBS and Courthouse
27 thoughts on “New Mexico Officer Accused Of Tasering 10-Year-Old Boy Who Refused To Clean His Patrol Car”
To me it sounds like there was not intent to fire the thing. It makes no sense. But he was negligent and a moron for pulling it out and pointing it at the student and should be held accountable for that.
SeaNEyeDog, why don’t you visit Taser.com and read some of the countless independent medical research that has been conducted on tasers. I’m not defending this piece of crap since he obviously does not deserve to wear a badge, but a taser is not a deadly weapon.
Ok lawyers out there. Come up to speed. A taser is a deadly weapon. The Superior Officer(s) issued this schmuck a taser. The municipality is on the hook for municipal liability for issuing tasers to schmucks and telling them to use it if deadly force is not warranted. Titile 42 United States Code, Section 1983 suit for violation of civil rights by an officer in his official capacity. Atty fees are authorized under Section 1988. You can sue the cop and the Superior Officer for punitive damages. Sky is the limit but limit it to something that will deter the cop and his Chief from doing this again. Not too many lawyers know about this genre of litigation. It is in their economic interest to learn. When all that is over, some cousin of electro boy should find this cop and electrocute him.
The officer has committed a felony. He needs to be arrested… Even if it was an accident, it is STILL a felony….. AND child abuse too…. Where us the court on this…. Take it Federal, See: Instructions For Filing Complaint Under Civil Rights Act Or Bivens Action…………
First, he ENDANGERED that child and every other child in his vicinity. Second, he could have KILLED that child. This act appears willful on the part of the LEO and for that, he should lose his job and never be able to enter any other position in law enforcement ever again. The LEO is not mentally capable of acting responsibly in discharging his duties to the community. I hope the boy’s family sues for all they can get. That boy will need a lot of counseling to ever be able to trust law enforcement.
Standard PR seems to be bury rhe corpse as quickly as possible before it begins to stink and draw attention.
Having done that give symbolic closure by “punishing” in a non-pynishing fashion. Then sit back snd block all attempts to dig up the corpse and do an autopsy.
The Taser went off accidentally???
This is what would have had to happen for the Taser to be discharged…
1) The Taser would have had to had its safety mechanism switched from the OFF position, to the Fire position. This requires a thumb to push the switch from the down position to the upward position. All the Taser holsters that I have seen and used will automatically place the safety to the OFF/Safe position when they are inserted into the holster. It cannot be stored in the holster with the Taser in the Fire position. I don’t have specifics if the standard holster was used here.
2) Once the safety is in the Fire position, the trigger would have to be pulled in order to discharge the Taser.
In reading the Taser was inspected and found to be in proper order, I would opin there was no malfunction.
Speculation: The officer got into the habit of drawing the taser and throwing the safety OFF in the draw. THis is a not standard training He did not think of the Taser safety and discharged it. The trigger pull on a Taser is very light. He should not have put his finger on the trigger unless he intended to discharge it.
This does NOT excuse him from pulling out the Taser in the first place, which in my opinion in reading the above, there was totally no justification for pulling it on the boy to begin with.
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