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back to article Arkansas cop tasers 10-year-old girl

An Arkansas cop has been suspended after tasering a ten-year-old girl who repeatedly "screamed, kicked and resisted" when her mother attempted to get her to have a shower before bed. Officer Dustin Bradshaw was called to a "domestic disturbance" in Ozark on 11 November, where he found the girl "curled up on the floor, screaming …

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Silver badge
WTF?

Forget the "Naughty Step"...

... that's *so* last year...!

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IT Angle

Surely....

If it's OK for a cop to use a taser on an 11 year old child, tech support can wield them against users?

Can we take a quick vote, and I'll see if I can catch eBuyer before the next day delivery deadline expires...

(I know it's Bootnotes, but I found an IT angle)

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Flame

Trial by commentard

There is insufficient data to make any kind of judgement call on this. The child could have mental health issues. The mother likewise. The neighbours might have been the ones who called the police. The child might have been having a genuinely dangerous fit....

If an adult can be tasered, why not a child?

And to those complaining about the small (though certainly not trivial) act of violence committed against the child, I have news for you: hormones weren't invented in the 1970s. Do you think adolescents weren't also sulky and rebellions in the 1880s? 1780s? Go back as far as you like and you'll find our ancestors thought nothing of giving a recalcitrant child a clout round the ear when they deserved one. "Decent society" is whatever society says it is.

Moderation is the key, not extremism. A punishment has to be meaningful if the threat of it is to have any effect. Kids learn this very quickly, which is why our education system has suffered somewhat. (I'm not advocating the cane, but I *am* advocating we stop listening to the parents of spoiled brats; they've already proven their incompetence.)

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@David Lucke

>>"I want to make this clear, I'm not calling them [the police] over here to handle my problem. I'm having them come over here to protect my daughter from hurting herself or hurting someone else."

Sounds like "she had called them over"

I wish I knew that this "zap your 10 year old" service was available when my daughter was 10, I had to resort to sending her to her room and "the naughty stair", maybe the brat is a brat, but at 10 (and earlier) you have the opportunity nurturing a child to become a decent person, zapping her, and sending her away will make her worse and scar her for life, cruelty breeds cruelty.

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Re Unacceptable

Restraint is one thing. Restraint without causing damage is quite another.

I had a cat one who got so violent when she was scared, even after being sedated for an operation, that a taser might have been the most humane alternative.

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rho
Grenade

A lot of issues here

First of all, there are tantrums and then there are tantrums. Maybe it was just a kicking, screaming fit. Maybe it was a full-on pseudo-seizure. Ever see a kid have a hair-tearing fit? They actually could hurt themselves. Mom may be to blame for the emotional problems, but that doesn't change the fact that maybe the girl was seriously out of control.

While I'm sure any police officer could easily restrain a 10-year-old, the problem here is the 10-year-old is not interested in being restrained, and in order to settle her down there's a real chance the officer could seriously injure her. The guy very likely felt that the taser was the course of least harm.

All that said, this was almost certainly a bad decision all around. Mom shouldn't have called the cops, and the cop shouldn't have used the taser. I'm not exactly sure what should have been done, but I'd guess that were I there I would have tried to restrain little miss precious as well as I could to keep her from hurting herself, kick in the nuts or no. That's part of being an adult--you have to be the adult even if the kid's a little shit. Eventually she'd tire herself out. But if she was one of those ginormous fatass kids I see around these days, I dunno, I'd sure think hard about a motivating electrical shock.

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In the immortal words of Russell Peters

"Beat the B*st*rds" or something along those lines.

To all those out there who say that beating your children is wrong, I say you're dillusional

To all those who say that they weren't beaten as kids and turned out alright - good on you.

My mum can't throw a ball to save her life but when I was a kid, she had a sniper's aim when she threw her slipper at me.

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Troll

@Atherton20

"If your solution is for any youth to to feel the birch every time they get a bit upset, then I hope you never have kids."

If I had kids, they wouldn't need the birch..

much..

hardly at all I reckon.

If I have a certain laissez-faire attitude towards corporal punishment I blame my parents who would tazer me as soon as look at me when I was child :) Loved every minute of it too - can't recommend it enough ! If I'd been that little girl I would have asked for seconds.

And I'm particularly offended by your implication that I read the Daily Fail - that's just going too far !

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Thumb Down

Nuffink more than...

...bad parenting. There is no reason to ever call the police for an 11 year old child.

Mind you the cop was totally out of order for

1. listening to the mother tell him to taser her

2. doing it.

She is only 11 FFS. The MOTHER should be tasered.

Epic fail.

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Happy

As a parent myself

and particularly a step-parent,

where can I get a taser?

Put the remote control down kid and step into the kitchen nice and easy, and nobody gets hurt. Fill the sink with warm water and washing up liquid, do it, do it now

This is a 10Mv magnum taser and I know what you're thinking, did he or didn''t he?

Actually, i'm not sure I'm cut out to be a parent, can someone tell me where I can hand him back?

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Stop

Actually

I know a child who has recently gone 11 and she is 5'11'' and of a large frame, so before we pass judgement perhaps we should remember not all children are tiny.

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Just one question ...

How bad was the tantrum? Since Daddy admits that the child has emotional issues, this looks like more than your average 10-year-old wobbly. If there was a chance of the kid actually harming herself - e.g. by banging her head violently on something - then she needed to be restrained.

Not sure that a tazer would be my restraint of choice, but I can see why the cop would be reluctant to lay hands on the girl - I see an earlier poster is already talking about child abuse.

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Youtube link

Or it didn't happen.

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J 3
FAIL

@Trial by commentard

"If an adult can be tasered, why not a child?"

If an adult can drink, why not a child?

If an adult can vote, why not a child?

If an adult can drive, why not a child?

If an adult can have 800 mg of ibuprofen, why not a child?

If an adult can consent to sex, why not a child?

If an adult can run for office, why not a child?

Children are not mini-adults. Bloody stupid people who think so are part of the problem... Which also means that "reasoning" with, e.g., a 2 year-old is as stupid as it goes too.

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Pint

@Unacceptable

"What kind of policeman can't restrain a ten year old child without using a taser?"

One who is doubled over and can't breathe after a sharp, hard kick in the goolies by an utter brat.

Besides, have you SEEN the women in Arkansas? Most of them look like Australian Rules Football players who've been going a bit heavy on the starches and Human Growth Hormone. Hell, Hillary Clinton looks TRIM in comparison.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Disgusting

You just know this piece-of-human-waste parent is going to threaten she daughter with having the police taser her again every time she does the least thing. No wonder she has emotional problems, growing up with a mother like that, who wouldn't?

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Reasoning

More than likely the girl was being removed from the home (under arrest) because the officer realized this situation could easily escalate between the mother and the child. I am going to guess that the girl probably hit her mother at some point during the altercation. We know she kicked the officer, that's one domestic assault and one assaulting a peace officer charge. Both of which have long lasting criminal repercussions in the US. They did her a favor by only charging her with disorderly conduct.

I can't say the tazing was justified, because I wasn't there, but if you have ever struggled with a truely pissed off 10 year old you may realize that they are not as easy to restrain as you would think.

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Anonymous Coward

Testing

I wonder when they developed the taser gun whether their test programme and their test safety programme actually used children as their test subjects?

Somehow I doubt it. So how can they be sure that the taser is safe on kids?

What is the minimum age for tasering a child? Have they evaluated this?

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Stop

Tantrums

So, one oft omitted fact in the above comments is that Dad admitted that the kid has emotional problems. It just so happens that some friends of mine adopted a girl (who's now 11) with *extreme* ADHD and Bi-Polar disorder. She punches holes in walls and kicks in doors when she's throwing one of her (frequent) tantrums. Her doctors have basically told the parents that they could be the best parents in the world and still she would be out of control. From what I've witnessed, it would take at least a couple of cops and a few blasts from a taser to subdue her if that ever became necessary.

Basically my point is: 1) This may not be Mom's fault. There really is such a thing is evil, unruly children. 2) The cop may really have had no better choice. I'm just glad that he used the more restrained and much less dangerous "touch tase" option on his taser and not the full blast, paralyzing shock that comes from shooting the darts.

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Troll

The next day...

Brat to Mother: Oh yeah? not so tough now your pig boyfriend with the sizzle-stick ain't around, are ya!

Seriously, as a parent you're supposed to be teaching your children self-control and training them in the habit of good behaviour. Its a tough one, so start from when they're born.

Best advice I ever got? You're the boss, not the child. Always tell the truth (follow through on threats, so make them reasonable as well as uncomfortable). Be consistent.

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WTF?

All kidding aside

Reading this actually made me feel physically sick. Reading some of the comments made me feel even worse.

Some of you fuckwits are actually advocating the use of electro-torture on a little ten year old girl. If *anyone* crossed my threshold and attempted to use one of those things on my family they would need to send more cops with something a little more powerful than tasers. The one with the taser would, at least, never walk again. If he tried to use it on any kids in my family he would be going back to his own feet-first.

If you can't control your own daughter you're a shit parent. If you're a cop and your best call is to tase a child you aren't fit to be on the street. Both parent and cop, in my humble opinion, are arseholes.

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Bzzzzt

If I'd been tazed every time I threw a screaming, mental tantrum as a kid, I'd glow in the dark now.

On the other hand, I grew up before it was deemed unacceptable to administer physical punishment, and I would get a wallop *when I deserved it* so at all times I knew there were limits to just how far I could push it before I really got myself in trouble. I might have been a tetchy little bugger at times, but things never got out of hand.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Single Mother Parenting

at its finest.

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Go

Awesome

Mr Policeman we salute you.

Are we allowed to award the man a medal and give him an honourary knighthood?

re AC 10:48 GMT:

"Another of those American laws? It's against the law for a child to throw a tantrum."

And you sir are a genius. Writing to my representatives immediately with your suggestion. Not quite as good as making stuff we don't like, for instance child poverty, illegal but nonetheless a brilliant idea. You should do the same in the UK, I might even be tempted to return if it was illegal to wear hoodies and talk like a chav. Perhaps issuing tazers to school teachers would be the way to go.

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Regarding hoodies

Was an interesting documentary on a few weeks ago about how violent society has been. Apparently teddy boys that grouped up in gangs were way worse than hoodies ever have been, going so far as to carry chains and get into big fights just because they find a punch up enjoyable. Apparently in the 50s knives were as bad a problem as they are now at least. Violence comes in bursts it seems, it always comes around eventually, but we're more and more shocked by lesser and lesser acts of violence because we are a less violent society. Get a grip and look at the facts.

While it may or may not be justified to stun the kid it was definitely not justified for the mother to suggest the use of the taser. She is not qualified to make that decision. After the mother suggested the taser I could well imagine the kid panicking and reacting instinctively in preemptive self defence. I sure as hell wouldn't have stood for someone suggesting that, though I'd probably have given her a gob full instead. That said the kid is known to have emotional control issues it seems, and the mother is obviously not capable of reacting with any diplomacy. If the mother isn't incompetent or abusive then it would probably be advisable for her to receive advice on dealing with such a child from professionals. Shouting "Tase her if you need to!" isn't going to calm her down, that's for bloody certain.

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Bronze badge

An extract from www.taser.com

"ECD Use on a pregnant, infirm, elderly, small child, or low body-mass index (BMI) person could increase the risk of death or serious injury. ECD Use has not been scientifically tested on these populations. The ECD should not be Used on members of these populations unless the situation justifies possible higher risk of death or serious injury."

Whilst a kick in the groin might be quite painful, even if administered by a ten year old girl, the cop couldn't claim anyone at the scene was at risk of "death or serious injury".

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Not biased, right?

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McDaniel continues to push for an Arkansas state police criminal investigation into Bradshaw's use of the Taser. Medlock is also demanding satisfaction. He said: "I don't know if justice will come out of it or not, but I'm going to do my damndest to get justice out of it. Somebody needs to pay. Seven days suspended with pay that isn’t anything. That's not even a slap on the wrist."

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Yes, nice the see the Mayor and Mr Medlock are completely unbiased about this. Particularly Medlock's "if he isn't found guilty, justice hasn't been done" attitude. Wonderful.

As for nay-sayers who argue about the cop's use of the taser... I wasn't present, I haven't seen the official reports, so this is premised on the fact that El Reg's report of the altercation are correct.

I have seen what a 10yo in full blown shit-kicking rampage can do, and I can understand why the copy might have felt he needed to calm the kid down. And why is it that just because a cop is a cop, he (or she) has to endure shit (and kicking and biting) that neither you nor I would tolerate? When doing their job? Admittedly, whether the mother should have called in the cops is dubious - however, once a domestic had been called in and the child's legal guardian steps in and requires the policeman to subdue the child... (sideline - just how good a mother had this person been if said 10yo has been raised in such a way as to make this mega-tantrum possible?)

So no, I'm not predisposed to blame the police officer, unlike some of the posters around here.

Actually, I'm glad this has been given the publicity it has - maybe it'll make the next delinquent think twice about causing trouble. While I agree that Police action should *always* be reviewed post-event for appropriateness, I personally think there's too many restrictions placed on police forces due to the "won't anyone think of X" mentality of some vocal minorities. My personal favourites on the WTF scale is high-speed chases: there is a push around here to mandate that if a police chase goes above X kph, the police have to back off. WTF? So the lesson to the criminals here is: drive like a bloody maniac, the police will have to let you go? How about, catch them, do them for whatever crimes they did in the first place, then tack on punitive damages/penalties for trying to evade pursuit - and make sure the pursuit vehicle have camera to record this so that a lawyer can't try to dismiss the "evade capture" charges.

OK, OK, end of rant. My point still is that the cop should not be immediately lambasted for what he did. The mother, on the other hand...

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Go

She DID assault the officer.

The Officer did have the permission of the responsible adult to tazer the kid- so they'll not be able to sue.

She was 10- and I knew right from wrong at 10. And a second's blast with a tazer wouldn't have been that bad. I've never been tazered, but I have had kilovolt shocks and I've been on the end of a good few mains-voltage shocks so I'm pretty familiar with the basic feeling of an electric shock.

I'd rather have a short tazer shock than be held in a stranglehold until I calmed down- I'd be struggling until I passed out with the strangehold.

I'd also rather a tazer than a billy club to any part of my body or having a gun drawn on me.

I think an airhorn would have been a decent shock as well- but then there's the risk of ear damage.

Meh, from what I've heard I'd not hang the guy based on the evidence. Though he should have had his camera on.

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dont want to be treated like an animal?

The dont act like one, i bet this kid will think twice before throwing another tantrum

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@ Goat Jam & @Craig28

@Goat Jam

You, sir, are a retard. My single mother raised me and my brother from the age of 3 alone and the police never once visited our house, nor was she driven to overt corporal punishment (I think I can count on one hand the number of times it came to that) and yet, here I am, with a reasonably paid job, no criminal record and so on.

Idiotic fucking comments about single parents are not welcome.

@ Craig 28

Yes, it's true, there was lots of violence in the 50's, 60's and so on. The important difference was, it was targeted violence.

In the 50's, the teddy boys faught other teddy boys; in the 60's the mods faught the rockers; cant think who was fighting each other in the 70's; in the 80's it moved on to fights between rival football supporters.

Today, the violence is targeted at anyone and everyone, simply not being part of the culture is no safety feature for the majority.

So, I suggest you, perhaps, should look at the facts.

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Big Brother

YAY! \o/

Excellent, the world needs more of this. Little shits should be slapped and tazed into a wobbling submission.

Animals, the lot of them.

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FAIL

She didn't have a gun

I find it hard to believe that a 10 year old (boy or girl) would need to be even briefly tasered unless they had a loaded gun and presented an immediate danger to someone. The US cops seem to have a love of all things taser and seem completely oblivious to the fact that they are perceived to be nothing more than overgrown morons incapable of independent thought. Unable to actually think for themselves, they go ahead and taser the person to buy some time.

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Anonymous Coward

In context

Consider a couple of things: This is Ozark, Arkansas. This is where things like Dogpatch, USA and Deliverance take place. These people struggle to operate a DVD player. God knows why their police department is given toys they don't know what to do with.

Second, Arkansas is one of those "red" states. In the US, policits, culture, etc. has gotten so binary that every thing that a rational, secular, enlightened member of normal Western society is immediately condemned by the reactionary, anti-intellectual, rage-filled followers of the ultra-right. These people oppose all science that doesn't directly involve the military or consumer products sectors. Universities to them are football teams, which have enought "learnin'" to qualify to join the NCAA -- so the football team can go on TV. The biggest threat they see (aside from "Libruls" who treaten to let them have affordable health care) is "Immigration." The illegal immigrant is seen as the key reason they are miserable and have no jobs. They bray incessantly about this treat. Except when they illegally hire them to watch their kids, pick their crops and do all other sorts of menial tasks that they can't coax their obease bodies and addled minds to do.

Frankly, I surprised that the mother didn't simply get a group of the neighbors together to burn the child at the stake.

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WTF?

Have you ever seen...

... some of the kids out there?

Here's Mummy's little soldier:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/thelede/posts/0306fat.jpg

http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Games/Images/fat-kid.jpg

Ok they're boys but the principle's the same... Probably.

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