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​Except last fall, in Pierre, South Dakota, four trained police officers used a Taser on a 70-pound, 8-year-old girl instead.

The girl’s mother is suing the city of Pierre, its former police chief and all four officers who were on the scene that day.

Tasers: They’re Not Made for Kids

Most people would think it was ridiculous to use a Taser on a child, although some claim that they’re safe as long as the child weighs more than 60 pounds. Even Police Chief Magazine published an article recommending that Tasers never be used on children, the elderly, or pregnant women.

How Did an 8-Year-Old Get Tased?

Police responded to a call from the girl’s babysitter; allegedly, the little girl was wielding a fruit paring knife. When police came on the scene, they warned the child that she was about to be Tased. 

“The force of the electricity shot through her body, lifted her, and threw her against a wall. After the officers had stunned (the girl) into high-voltage submission, they pulled the fish-hook-like Taser darts from her chest, gave her emergency medical attention, bandaged the holes left by the razor-sharp hooks, and called the ambulance,” according to the lawsuit filed by the girl’s mother.

While the police department issued a statement that says the officer who Tased the girl was within his rights to do so, it raises ethical questions. 

How dangerous can a child be? Could the officers have found a better solution? Given that we all remember when a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old in Michigan both died after being hit with Tasers, was it the right choice for officers to deploy a Taser on someone much younger and much smaller?

We might never know the answers to these questions, but they’re certainly interesting to think about. What’s your take?

Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño 

Would You Tase an 8-Year Old - Attorney Carlos A. Gamino, Milwaukee
​Children are, as a rule, smaller than adults. Most adults would agree with that – and most adults would also agree that if a 70-pound child ever needs to be subdued, a handful of police should be able to handle the situation safely and effectively.

News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Would You Tase an 8 Year Old?

Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
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