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Police Accused Of Using Taser On 10-Year-Old

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This Two Martinsville police officers have been suspended with pay after being accused of using a Taser to subdue a 10-year-old boy, Indianapolis TV station WRTV reported.

The officers responded Tuesday evening to Tender Teddies Day Care on reports of a 10-year-old who was out of control, the mayor's office and the Martinsville Police Department said in a statement.

The officers, trying to prevent the child from hurting other children, staff members and himself, slapped the boy and then used a Taser to subdue him, city and police officials said.

On Thursday, Police Chief Jon Davis said he believed Capt. William Jennings and Officer Darren Johnson could have avoided using a stun gun on the 94-pound boy.

Davis said Jennings slapped the boy in the face and Johnson used a hand-held stun gun to shock the boy on the upper arm. Davis said the boy cried after being shocked on Tuesday but is now fine.

The department said when the officers arrived, the boy was out of control, hitting, kicking, cursing and refusing to listen to them.

"My first gut feeling was, 'Why couldn't two officers have subdued the child?'" Martinsville Mayor Phil Deckard said.

Officials said police had been called to the day care before about the same child.

Davis said the department's use of stun guns will be reviewed.

"We need to look at it a lot closer, because it's not really made for 10-year-olds," he said.

Both officers were placed on paid administrative suspension. Deckard said he expects more disciplinary actions against the officers when the Martinsville Board of Works meets on Monday.

"We want to get to the bottom of this. We will not tolerate unnecessary or unusual treatment of any suspect regardless of age," he said. "I'm concerned in this case about the safety of the child as well as the interest of the officers."

Investigators said officers are equipped with in-car cameras and lapel cameras. They are checking to see if there is video of the incident.

The day care's owner, Heath Lancaster, did not want to comment on the case, saying only that it was in the hands of police and the Department of Child Services.

Neighbor Kenneth Frazier said he believes the boy needs help.

"I don't think that should have happened. I'm sure they could have detained him some other way," he said. "They take big grown ups down without tasing them ... why a 10-year-old?"

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 2:56 PM

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