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OfflineAdamist
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Taser on children OK, Florida police say
    #3422969 - 11/29/04 02:31 PM (12 years, 13 days ago)

http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/Headlines/03NewsHEAD01112604.htm

Officials from a majority of law enforcement agencies in Volusia and Flagler counties say they would not hesitate to shoot a child with a Taser stun gun to keep the youngster from harming himself or someone else.

The Taser policies of law enforcement agencies in both counties require police to consider everything from a suspect's age to physical and mental condition, but no local agency specifically prohibits using the weapon on a child.

"There are those youths out there that are just as capable of hurting someone as any 18-year-old," said Sgt. Pete Moon of the DeLand Police Department. "Each scenario is different."

Debra Johnson, a spokeswoman with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, agreed that age wasn't the only deciding factor. "There are some 12 year-olds out there that are bigger than some adults," she said.

The weapons are equipped with electric barbs that penetrate the skin and transmit an electric shock of up to 50,000 volts from the Taser. Tasers also may be used as a stun gun by pressing the weapon against the skin.

Law enforcement agencies in the area discussed their policies with The News-Journal after two separate incidents in Miami in which police were accused of using their Taser guns on children -- a 12-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy -- who officers claimed were endangering themselves.

The incidents prompted a review of the Miami-Dade Police Department's Taser policy, said Miami-Dade Detective Nelda Fonticella , because that policy does not specifically address the issue of Tasers and children.

Local police said officers are expected to use discretion and consider whether the suspect poses a threat to himself or another person.

Of the local police agencies surveyed, only the Daytona Beach police reported using a Taser on a child under 17.

Volusia County Sheriff's Office spokesman Brandon Haught said Sheriff Ben Johnson is "fully against" using Tasers on children.

"He feels it should be used only as a last resort," Haught said.

Spokesman Gary Davidson described the department's Taser use as "very conservative." Deputies have deployed the weapons 175 times in the last three years.

Resource officers who patrol Volusia or Flagler schools do not carry Tasers, officials said, but do carry service weapons and can call on sheriff's deputies with Tasers for backup.

Daytona Beach Shores police -- who have deployed Tasers more often this year than any other law enforcement agency in the county, according to police reports -- declined comment on the issue.

Police agencies in Central Florida have had to decide whether to allow officers to use Tasers only in cases of active physical resistance, or in any case of resistance, including verbal refusals to cooperate.

In the Daytona Beach police incidents earlier this year where Tasers were deployed against two 16-year-old boys in two separate incidents, the suspects were running away from police, said Lt. Jesse Godfrey, a spokesman for the department.

An officer may fire his or her Taser at a running suspect if the officer believes the person has committed a crime, Godfrey said. The officer must shout verbal commands at the suspect and warn that the Taser will be used.

"In a foot pursuit, either the officer or the person can hurt their leg or ankle, they can get hit by a car or they can fall," Godfrey said. "By using the Taser, we reduce the danger to both."

Yvonne Herrera, R.N., an pediatric intensive care nurse in charge of Night Lite Pediatrics in Orlando, said little information is available about the medical effects of a Taser on a child and the pediatricians there had never heard of a Taser being used on a local child.

"I don't think that was the intended use," she said.

As an emergency room nurse, though, Herrera said she has seen adults brought in after being hit with Tasers. She said the Taser's current doesn't knock suspects from their feet, but causes their knees to buckle, so they crumple to the ground. Patients who have received a Taser blast usually have no serious injuries, she said, and are treated for pain and small lacerations at the site of the stun.

Many officers said that as much as they would dislike having to shoot a child with a Taser, they recognize the time might come when it would be necessary.

"The child would have to reach the same level (of behavior) as an adult," said Ormond Beach training division Officer Vince Champion.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: Adamist]
    #3422982 - 11/29/04 02:35 PM (12 years, 13 days ago)



Police State Targets, Tasers, Arrests and Jails Elementary School Children

Infowars.com
November 12, 2004

The latest police state/child horror story that police tasered a distressed and out-of-control 6-year-old is sadly unsurprising. Why not? They've used tasers on the weak and the elderly, and police across the country remain loyal to their "non-lethal" weapons even after last week's taser death.

Of course we all know that the police state and its out-of-control thugs are targeting children at an accelerated rate, with children being arrested for fighting, and being given jail time for such egregious infractions as throwing a basketball at each other.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: Adamist]
    #3422991 - 11/29/04 02:38 PM (12 years, 13 days ago)

PoliceTaser 6-Year-Old

Fox News | November 12, 2004

MIAMI ? Police used a stun gun on a 6-year-old boy in his principal's office because he was wielding a piece of glass and threatening to hurt himself, officials said Thursday.

The boy, who was not identified, was shocked with 50,000 volts on Oct. 20 at Kelsey Pharr Elementary School.

Principal Maria Mason called 911 after the child broke a picture frame in her office and waved a piece of glass, holding a security guard back.

When two Miami-Dade County police officers and a school officer arrived, the boy had already cut himself under his eye and on his hand.

The officers talked to the boy without success. When the boy cut his own leg, one officer shocked him with a Taser ( search ) and another grabbed him to prevent him from falling, police said.

He was treated and taken to a hospital, where he was committed for psychiatric evaluation.

"By using the Taser, we were able to stop the situation, stop him from hurting himself," police spokesman Juan DelCastillo told The Miami Herald

Man Dies After Police Use Stun Gun on Him

Associated Press | November 5 2004

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A man suspected of trying to illegally hook up electrical service died after police shocked him with a stun gun when he was found hiding at an apartment complex, authorities said.

Robert Guerrero, 21, was pronounced dead Tuesday at John Peter Smith Hospital where he was taken after officers subdued him with a Taser stun gun and he stopped breathing, police said.

Officers were called to the complex where residents said someone was illegally hooking up electrical service at a unit, police Lt. Abdul Pridgen said.

When they arrived, Guerrero hid in a closet and refused to come out, Pridgen said. Officers shot Guerrero with a Taser stun gun after asking him twice to come out. Pridgen said the man was then handcuffed but stopped breathing shortly thereafter.

"They had dealt with him before and had a history with him," Pridgen said. "They believed he might have had a weapon."

The stun guns, used primarily by police, temporarily incapacitate people by sending electrical charges through their bodies.

While some deaths have been linked to their use, officials of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser International have defended their product, now used by thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Police back Tasers despite deaths
After the latest fatality, HPD and others call stun guns safer options
Houston Chronicle | November 5, 2004
By LISE OLSEN and RHEA DAVIS

The death of a man in Fort Worth after being shot with an electrified dart this week has recharged debate about the safety of the increasingly popular stun guns.

Touted as a life-saving alternative to deadly force, Tasers are used by every major law-enforcement department in Harris County and 300 across Texas.

The sudden death of 21-year-old Robert Guerrero on Tuesday is the state's third that occurred in police custody after the use of a stun gun, based on reports from the manufacturer and the media.

The incident did not shake Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt's conviction that his pending order for $4.7 million in Tasers will help save lives, not end them.

"Tasers give officers another option besides their handguns when they are confronted by someone with a weapon other than a gun or by someone who is mentally ill," he said.

Houston's City Council approved buying 3,600 Tasers this week.

Guerrero's death occurred after Fort Worth police officers responded to a tip that someone was illegally running electrical lines into an apartment. They followed the lines, discovered Guerrero hiding in a closet and threatened to stun him if he didn't come out. Shortly after being zapped with 50,000 volts, Guerrero stopped breathing and died, said Fort Worth Police Department spokesman Lt. Abdul Pridgen.

It was the third recent death in Texas of someone who had been stunned by a Taser.

Guerrero and a 22-year-old from Johnson County who died in September were both described as having used drugs before their deaths, based on media reports. But no autopsy report in Guerrero's case was available Thursday to confirm that. In the third Texas fatality, a 51-year-old Amarillo man with heart disease suffered a heart attack after being stunned in September 2003.

TASER International defended the safety of its product in e-mail to the Houston Chronicle on Thursday and said it was prepared to assist in the ongoing review of Guerrero's death.

"Until all the facts surrounding this tragic incident are known, it is inappropriate to jump to conclusions on a cause of death," according to the company's statement.

"What we do know is that Taser technology saves lives every day, and that the circumstances surrounding this incident appear to be consistent with other in-custody death incidents where a Taser device was not used," the statement said.

Few fatal cases found
Nationally, more than 70 similar fatal incidents have been reported, said Ed Jackson, a spokesman for Amnesty International USA.

The human rights group has called for a moratorium and independent research on Tasers.

However, a 2004 Arizona Republic review of autopsy reports for people who died nationwide after being stunned showed that medical examiners mentioned Tasers as a factor in only five deaths.

TASER International, an Arizona-based company, is recording record sales and touts its product as saving at least 600 lives, based on reports received by the company from police officers who have used it.

Tasers are unregulated by the federal government.

They are available for sale both to police and civilians in almost every state, based on the company's most recent annual report.

Popular device in local area
HPD is ordering Tasers, as have the Harris County Sheriff's Department and the Pasadena Police Department.

Baytown police got them in 2000.

A few Houston police officers have used a limited number of older stun guns for several years, but the order approved this week will make new models available to all patrol officers. Police in Miami, Seattle and Phoenix all have claimed to have seen shooting incidents drop dramatically after deploying Tasers.

Local departments hope the availability of stun guns will reduce injuries and deaths to officers and citizens.

Annually, about 30 civilians are shot each year in Harris County, based on statistics provided by the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

There have been 18 shootings so far in 2004.

The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has called upon Tasers to be used only as a last resort to avoid lethal force, said Randall Kallinen, the chapter's president.

Since 1999, three officers have been prosecuted by the Harris County District Attorney's Office in two incidents involving alleged misuse of stun guns, but none was convicted.

Two HPD officers were fired in a 1996 incident involving the misuse of an older model of Taser, said Assistant District Attorney Tommy LaFon, who works in the Harris County District Attorney's public-accountability division.

Officer acquitted
In a more recent case, a Baytown officer was acquitted of charges he used a stun gun on a 59-year-old woman who was trying to collect mail for a relative in July 2003. The woman was knocking on the door with a brick and turned toward the officer with the brick in her hand when he confronted her.

In the Baytown case, the officer's supervisor defended his use of force at trial, and the officer was not disciplined.

But Lafon, the prosecutor, continues to disagree that the force used by the officer was appropriate.

D. Matthew Freeman, a Houston attorney, is representing the woman and two others stunned by Baytown officers in three civil suits pending in federal court.

Freeman says he believes Tasers are a valuable tool but can be easily misused.

Saving 'several lives'
Baytown's Lt. David Alford, who oversees internal affairs, said he believes use of force in all three cases was justified because of the erratic and violent behavior exhibited by the people who were stunned.

Alford said he's aware of several situations in which he believes that Tasers saved lives in Baytown.

"It has saved several lives," he said. "Officer injuries are down, injuries to suspects are down. It's an awesome tool."


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: Adamist]
    #3422993 - 11/29/04 02:39 PM (12 years, 13 days ago)

The Police State has arrived in Florida. Get the fuck out while you still can.


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Invisiblechodamunky
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: Adamist]
    #3424200 - 11/29/04 07:40 PM (12 years, 13 days ago)

I don't understand how they keep saying it's saving lives when three people have recently died from being tasered. If it's Non-lethal why are people dying from the electricity shocks? What about people who don't die, but their body is permanently damaged from the immense jolt that went through their body? I don't support tasers, the traditional gun and baton is fully capable of controlling any situation, even that one with the kid waving the glass. Cops just have to stop being pussies and learn to have better communication skills to deal with these sorts of incidents.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: Adamist]
    #3425312 - 11/29/04 10:59 PM (12 years, 13 days ago)

Nobody hates the police more than I, but, this happened just 20 miles down the road from me in Miami (I'm in Fort Lauderdale) and I know what these cops are up against and the type of neighborhood this occurred in.

The kid that got zapped was threatening the cops with a knife then started to cut himself.

1. If the cops stood by and the kid seriously injured himself, the cops would have been crucified by the media.

2. If they shot him and killed him (which would be justified if the kid went at them with a knife, IMO) they would have been crucified by the media.

3.If the cops went at him hand-to-hand, they risked getting stabbed.

4. In the end, the cops compromised and zapped him. And what, they're still getting crucified by the media.

Fair is fair; these guys were caught between a rock and a hard place. Cut them some slack.


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Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


Edited by Diploid (12/07/04 06:37 AM)


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: Diploid]
    #3425416 - 11/29/04 11:25 PM (12 years, 13 days ago)

Indeed, if they had to do something, assuming that the kid possibly would've seriously injured himself if they didn't, then the taser seemed the best alternative, as opposed to smacking him with a baton, which is even worse than the taser, shooting him, which is out of the question, and wrestling him, in which case the cop might've gotten stabbed and made things worse for the kid also, as he would be charged with harm to a police officer.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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Invisiblechodamunky
Cheers!

Registered: 02/28/02
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: Ravus]
    #3428873 - 11/30/04 06:46 PM (12 years, 12 days ago)

don't the cops wear bullet proof vests these days? aren't they trained in hand-to-hand combat, including weapons? Yes and yes, and most of all they are trained to talk and negotiate and communicate, they are presented with a million of these types of situations in training. I have four friends who are in a police academy right now learning what I just told you, at least in Canada they train them like so. Maybe the cops did the right thing in this particular situation, maybe a different officer would have dissolve the situation in a totally different manner. What bugs me is that these taser guns are getting super hype right now and a police officer is more likely to use it unnecessarily in a situation that could be solved in the more traditional approaches. I say again, non-lethal weapons don't kill, taser guns have killed already. At least they should be up front and say that.


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Offlinetheocean06
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Registered: 07/10/04
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: chodamunky]
    #3429753 - 11/30/04 10:18 PM (12 years, 12 days ago)

A knife will go through a bullet proof fest, cops have died that way. And why should the cop risk his own life in a hand to hand combat situation when the other person has a knife when he could easily just take a taser to him. I do agree that some cops may be using them unnecessarily, but when someone is coming at you with a knife, it is necessary.


Maybe lessen the volts?


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Invisiblechodamunky
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Registered: 02/28/02
Posts: 2,030
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: theocean06]
    #3429930 - 11/30/04 11:00 PM (12 years, 12 days ago)

Quote:

Maybe lessen the volts?




lol nah, that's too rational, taser the bastards with full power  :smirk:


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: chodamunky]
    #3440911 - 12/03/04 04:12 AM (12 years, 10 days ago)

don't the cops wear bullet proof vests these days?

A bullet-proof vest won't keep a knife out of your eye.

aren't they trained in hand-to-hand combat,

They're trained not to put themselves at more risk than necessary for the sake of a suspect who is menacing them with a weapon. This is as it should be.

and most of all they are trained to talk and negotiate and communicate,

What do you think they were doing when the kid stopped menacing them and started to cut himself?


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Taser on children OK, Florida police say [Re: theocean06]
    #3440916 - 12/03/04 04:14 AM (12 years, 10 days ago)

Maybe lessen the volts?

Tasers don't work that way.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
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