Taser Tots: Indiana Police Taser Ten Year Old Boy At Day Care

180px-Taser-x26We have previously discussed the increasing use of tasers by police in circumstances where other avenues were available, including cases involving young children (here and here and here and here and here and here) or the elderly (here and here and here and here). Now we have a case where two Indiana police officers tasered a 10-year-old, 94-pound boy at the Tender Teddies Day Care in Martinsville.

The officers from the Martinsville Police Department responded to a report of an unruly child at a home day care location. Such calls are not uncommon, particularly with so many children with emotional or developmental problems. However, after the police arrived, they introduced tasers at Tender Teddies Day Care as witnesses watched in horror. Even the Martinsville Police Chief Jon Davis has acknowledged that his officers could have avoided using a stun gun on a child and has put the two officers on administrative leave pending investigation.

It seems a prototypical case on the expansion of the use of tasers and stun guns. At one time, police would have restrained the child physically. Now, police seem to use tasers as a first response. Despite these controversies, police around the country seem to view the taser as a weapon to use in the face of people who disobey their orders or represent any type of physical threat, even a child. In some of these cases, the taser appears like an virtual punishment tool when citizens do not comply. There appears little interest in politicians to look at this question and curtailing the use of tasers in the country. The result is a fear from many citizens that they could be tasered if they challenge an officer’s orders or question his authority.

Officers do not taser a child at day care unless they have been trained or convinced that such weapons can be used whenever there is a potential for physical contact. The attitude shown in past controversies reflects a casual and arbitrary use of the weapons — a reflection of the view that such use of force is entirely discretionary with the officer. When lawsuits are brought in even the most egregious cases, citizens often find courts that are entirely unsympathetic or unwilling to review such conduct. The abuse of tasers is part of an expansion of police powers in the United States that is worrisome and threatens to create a general intimidation of the public. That threatens not just to change the relationship of citizens to their government but to create a chilling effect on those challenging police abuse.

Source: NY Daily News

Kudos: Michael Blott

72 thoughts on “Taser Tots: Indiana Police Taser Ten Year Old Boy At Day Care”

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  2. You live in a society where carrying lethal weapons while out shopping, or in a cinema, or at a restaurant, or even at a school, is increasingly regarded as normal and natural. As a society, you kill criminals in cold blood. Therefore inflicting excrutiating pain on 10 year old children seems not that odd a part of your culture: which is why these law officers presumably felt it ok to behave in this way. It seems beyond weird to most of the rest of humankind – but, for all your strengths, that’s the society you live in, America.

    1. singapom – the reason police feel free to do this is because they are almost never held personally accountable. They are rarely charged with a crime and when they are juries tend to side with the police. They think they are carrying a get-out-of-jail-free card.

  3. Good! Gotta get them thugs when they are young! I am proud of law enforcement in our great land. Truly a dangerous job, having to deal with belligerent children. These guys are truly brave!

    1. Svoogle – it is amazing the intestinal fortitude shown by the officer in bringing this thug down. Lesser officers would have left it to the faculty to deal with.

  4. Yikes! I’m scaring myself!

    Once a politician introduces the concept of crime-fighting killer robots, a politician from the other party will step up the game by calling for larger and more powerful killer robots. Not to be outdone, the politicians will go back and forth and eventually we will have killer robots 12-feet tall that roam the streets.

    Every year they will get new killer robots with more self-contained weapons and they will get larger and larger until one day they are 20 feet tall and can fly. The next step would be to eliminate costly courts by programming the killer robots to determine guilt and mete out punishment on the spot.

    Then we’ll all be safe.

  5. People keep talking about how the cops need better training, but who will train the trainers of those who train the cops?

    It seems like the cops did a better job before they got all this training that they allegedly get. Do adults, who have presumably been “trained” in schools all their lives, really need to be trained to not be brutal thugs and not engage in violent attacks against women, children and elderly people?

    Maybe instead of “training” human beings as if they are circus animals, some attempt to actually educate them should be made that doesn’t involve tasers, ringing bells, standardized tests and unquestioning obedience to authority. Call me a dreamer, but I think it is theoretically possible to teach kids to think, thereby avoiding the need to “train” them like one might teach a chimp to ride a tricycle.

    It could be the time isn’t far off when politicians, anxious to show how tough they are on crime, seek to replace “trained” idiot human mutants with killer robots to get tough with scofflaws, kids and those suspected of thinking about doing some illegal act.

  6. The UN is currently debating the legitimacy of killer robots in warfare. Arnold is their star witness. The first sentence is true, not the second one, though.

  7. Mail carriers almost never shoot dogs.

    Psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists almost never shoot the demented.

    School teachers almost never tase elementary school students.

    What is it with police officers? Are we really scraping that far down in the bottom of the barrel? Can’t we hire people with just a little more common sense? Could we possibly give LE some of the same training we give to letter carriers and school teachers?

    Would it really make us all that less safe to train LE to the same standard as letter carriers when it comes to a barking dog?

    Does it really seem that we would have more casualties among LE if they used the same standards as school teachers when dealing with a misbehaving elementary school child?

    I am just asking for a little though and consideration on this matter.

    It just seems as though the response that the officer’s actions were ‘in accordance with departmental standards’ has become a kind of incantation given without real consideration to the facts of the situation.

    1. bfm – mail carriers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, school teachers are never armed. Although some schools are arming the teachers.

      The problem here to twofold: 1) why did the school call the cops rather than the parents 2) why did the cops over-react?

  8. They had unions back then too, it’s those devil lobbyists. Yup.:evil:

  9. Seamus, I agree that cops years ago dealt with crazy people and were abused regularly, but didn’t seem to take it as assault and overreact the way they do nowadays.

    1. Annie – cops now have better lobbyists at the state legislature writing laws to protect them. Go unions!!!!!

  10. How terrible. Police need to be trained on how to physically restrain children, the mentally ill, etc. This behavior is a reflection on the attitude of the Watch Commander or higher.

    And it erodes the confidence that the community has in talking with police, and viewing them as there to help.

  11. Al, We have a 2 political party duopoly that makes it virtually impossible for a 3rd party. Read Ralph Nader’s accounts of merely trying to enter the Presidential debates. The Dems or Rep would MUCH rather the other party win than see a 3rd party emerge. The one truly bipartisan agreement is there shall be no 3rd parties.

  12. “Al – more people have been killed by lightening since 2001 than by Tasers.”

    If ever there was an apples and oranges comparison, that has to be it.

    The expected value of dying each year from lightening strike is related to both the probability of lightening strike (presumably very low), and the number in the general population which is approximately 320 million.

    When you consider both the relatively low numbers of taser attacks and the number of fatalities due to taser attack, the fatality rate of taser attack ought to be a matter of serious concern.

    Lightening stikes and the fatalities related to them tell us nothing about fatalities related to tasers.

    1. bfm – I think the Taser company keeps the details on deaths each year from Taser-related activity. However, the number of Taser attacks are higher than reported, we usually only hear about the fatalities or like this one, where it is a child.

  13. Nick: Explain the duopoly under which we live. Is this some sort of two state solution?

  14. Tom, I have ranted against the duopoly under which we live. I am a libertarian[small “l”] and know we need a 3rd, 4th, etc. choice. You will get a lotta resistance for your out of the box thoughts, as have I. But, hang tough, there are a few of us here. Your comments are interesting and thoughtful. Keep them coming.

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