South Dakota police used a Taser on an 8-year old girl who had threatened to harm herself.
The incident happened on Friday night when the girl was being watched by a babysitter. Police Chief Bob Grandpre said three officers responded to a call of a suicidal 8-year-old girl who had stabbed herself in the leg. She was holding a 4½-inch knife to her chest when officers arrived at the house, and she refused to put it down.
When one officer took a step toward the child, she turned the knife toward him. “She immediately put the knife back at her chest,” said the Pierre, South Dakota chief of police.
That’s when the officer decided to use his Taser on the 8-year-old girl, who was then taken to a hospital on a 24-hour hold. The child had no stab wounds on her leg.
The department deemed the action as necessary to prevent the girl from harming herself, and the officer has remained on active duty.
Grandpre said the situation was fluid and fast moving, and there are not many alternatives in that type of situations. The officers acted correctly to ensure everyone was safe, he said. “With the options they had presented, they used good judgment,” Grandpre said. “He quite possibly saved the juvenile’s life that night.”
Grandpre said officers have only used a Taser eight or nine times in the past two years. This was an unusual incident that he hopes never is repeated, he said.
Meanwhile, the 8-year old girl’s parents want the officer who Tasered their child disciplined. “Tasers are for grown adults, not 8-year-old girls,” said Bobby Jones, the girl’s father. “They say it was for her own safety, but there is no justification for that.”
He said the knife she had was a small paring knife and is incapable of doing any real harm, and that she wasn’t doing anything more than “acting out.”
The girl was released from the hospital the following morning.
The chief is reviewing the incident.
What do you think the officer should have done? Do you believe Tasering an 8-year who was attempting suicide should have been Tasered? Or do you agree with her parents and the officer should be disciplined from his actions?
Here’s what other’s have to say on Facebook:
William Williams says, “Sounds like he saved the girls life so what’s the problem? Should he have put her in time out!”
Warren White responded, “The girl had a knife at her own chest, and the officers were told she had already stabbed herself?
Waiting to approach and subdue the girl could have resulted in her stabbing/killing herself, or injuries to the officers.. some character/morality defect in liberals causes them to attack the officers who must make snap decisions in dramatic/stressful situations.. I think we should give the benefit of the doubt to those we ask to run towards the threat and violence.”
Mike Weppner chimed in with, “The officer did in fact save the child’s life but the problem with kids these days is that parents are terrified of disciplining their children. Time out doesn’t work. When I was a kid my mom would take time out of her busy day to whip my ass and I turned out alright and I thank her for it. Parents need to stop trying to be their child’s best friend and just be parents.”
Brian Beatty made the point of, “Why are the parents blaming a police officer when he was responding to a call to save their daughter? It’s not like he drove by and hit her with a Rader…he looked at situation and handled it without permanent injury. Maybe the parents should be thanking the officer vs. trying to persecute him.”
Joe Salvatore says the parents need to look at themselves, “Sooooo, the girl wanted to commit suicide, had actually stabbed herself, and the parents are saying the cops used “excessive” force?! What are these people smoking?! Maybe the cops should have let her die… But then the parents would be mad that the cops did nothing. These parents need to take a loooooong look in the mirror and ask themselves why their 8 year old wanted to kill herself. I guarantee it had NOTHING to do with the police.”