Arkansas Police Use Taser on 10-Year-Old Girl

This is a discussion on Arkansas Police Use Taser on 10-Year-Old Girl within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by SIXTO A completely different set of circumstances, don't you think? In my mind, no, not at all. If my son ever gets ...

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  1. #61
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    A completely different set of circumstances, don't you think?
    In my mind, no, not at all. If my son ever gets to the point where he thinks he doesn't have to listen to me, or a LEO for that matter, he has a world of hurt coming. But no taser would be used. I am sure CPS would have something to say about it.

    But that is in my house, not the one in this story. We play by a different set of rules around here. What dad says goes, end of story.
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  3. #62
    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    First, I hate the fact that a lot of my call volume these days is from parents wanting the cops to come in and discipline their kids. Parents don't want to be parents, which includes being the "bad guy" when needed. Makes me sick really. And then the parents complain when I dont take the "Sure, I'll be your Daddy" attitude. On top of that, they call you to take control of a situation that they could not ( or failed to do) then whine and cry when you do as they asked.

    About the misuse of the Taser; this is not misuse. It is exactly what the Taser was designed to do. The Taser is supposed to be used to gain control of a combative person without the officer goings "hands on". Every study ever done on the Taser's use shows that this approach in its application prevents injury to both the officer and suspect.

    I've got many personal examples of incidents where I should have deployed the Taser and didnt... and either I or the suspect got hurt. One was a ten year old kid just this week. Mom was begging me use the Taser, because she knew her son was going to fight as hard as he could. I didn't (largely because of the publics misunderstanding of the Taser and what it is and isn't and the media), but a lot had to do with the details of the situation, and ended up with a very minor workers comp claim. Minor as it may be, it still costs taxpayers a lot of money.

    Can the officer gain control of a ten year old without the Taser? Yeah, probably. But at what risk and cost?
    Thanks for that input. That really changes perspective quite a bit.

  4. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    What dad says goes, end of story.
    thats the way it should be.
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  5. #64
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    Like it or not tasers have changed the way things are done. After hearing numerous reports from other Dept's that used them, it did seem like a step in the right direction.

    What used to be a knock down drag out fight with both the good guys and the bad guys getting injured, now is a one sided fight that last just seconds.

    Size no longer matters, in the old days a big burly biker type that liked to fight might bust up several cops before there was enough to "pig pile" him and get him cuffed.

    Now, an itty bitty woman in a uniform can subdue the hardest man known. It doesn't matter how big or bad you are, when that brain gets short circuited and your muscles lock up, all you want to do is get your next breath, nothing elses matters.

    Its a simple matter of cuffing someone then. It sure isn't like it used to be.

    For any thug that has ever been tased before, usually just placing your hand on it to extract it is enough to get them to comply. They work wonders.

    The beauty of it is, once its over, its over. You don't have any broken bones, no gashing wounds, no torn ligaments or muscles. Sure you might feel like you've been hit by a train for a few days(I did) but other than that, its really the lesser of the evils. You'll have two little needle marks in you and you wont even feel the probes being pulled out. You'll just be glad you can breath again.
    I took a 5 second shot and it was the longest 5 seconds of my life.

    Its a tool that works and works well, unless of course you happen to be in the minute percent that dies from it. Until we get a better tool, it'll continue to be used more everyday. From an officer safety standpoint, its really reduced the number of potential injuries for both partys.

    It used to be pepper spray, then the ASP and it always resulted in a trip to the ER with mutiple injuries. Now, a shot with the taser and its all over. Some go to the ER because they can, most choose not to.

    In the long run, its better for everyone.
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  6. #65
    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    I got the belt and a wooden spoon.... but that was before parents were getting in trouble for child abuse... it seems that the taser settled things down alot faster
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  7. #66
    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Like it or not tasers have changed the way things are done. After hearing numerous reports from other Dept's that used them, it did seem like a step in the right direction.

    What used to be a knock down drag out fight with both the good guys and the bad guys getting injured, now is a one sided fight that last just seconds.

    Size no longer matters, in the old days a big burly biker type that liked to fight might bust up several cops before there was enough to "pig pile" him and get him cuffed.

    Now, an itty bitty woman in a uniform can subdue the hardest man known. It doesn't matter how big or bad you are, when that brain gets short circuited and your muscles lock up, all you want to do is get your next breath, nothing elses matters.

    Its a simple matter of cuffing someone then. It sure isn't like it used to be.

    For any thug that has ever been tased before, usually just placing your hand on it to extract it is enough to get them to comply. They work wonders.

    The beauty of it is, once its over, its over. You don't have any broken bones, no gashing wounds, no torn ligaments or muscles. Sure you might feel like you've been hit by a train for a few days(I did) but other than that, its really the lesser of the evils. You'll have two little needle marks in you and you wont even feel the probes being pulled out. You'll just be glad you can breath again.
    I took a 5 second shot and it was the longest 5 seconds of my life.

    Its a tool that works and works well, unless of course you happen to be in the minute percent that dies from it. Until we get a better tool, it'll continue to be used more everyday. From an officer safety standpoint, its really reduced the number of potential injuries for both partys.

    It used to be pepper spray, then the ASP and it always resulted in a trip to the ER with mutiple injuries. Now, a shot with the taser and its all over. Some go to the ER because they can, most choose not to.

    In the long run, its better for everyone.
    And no positional asphyxia to worry about. I'm sure there are instances of cardiac arrest due to arrhythmia but the risk of injury and death overall is greatly reduced.
    Again compliance is the best way to avoid both.
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  8. #67
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RA229 View Post
    There is no one that can convince me you need to use a taser on a 10 yr old. That goes beyond punishment, thats ABUSE period. Don't follow instructions?, dock her allowance, Sceaming on the floor?, ignor that behavior, it's harmless. Does any one know how to parent. As a Behavior Analyst I work with much worse than this, adolesants and adults with violant episodes. Reinforce good behavior and the maladaptive behavior fades. If tasers worked I would be using one 50 times a day.
    I would have to agree .

  9. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    The way parents dealt with spoiled brats for hundreds of years before the nanny state got involved.
    My parents would not have allowed it to get to that point. I learned BEFORE I was 10 that tantrums would not gain me anything.
    My parents would never have called the police.
    The police would never have responded to something that stupid.
    And nobody would have been tasered.
    I agree with you! Now let’s talk about what is happening. Parents are not dealing with their children. They are calling 911 for out of control kids much more often than most people would ever believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    We play by a different set of rules around here. What dad says goes, end of story.
    That is called parenting! Too many “parents” are not parenting. Many of these children have not been taught to have respect for their parents, LE or even themselves for that matter. They do not fear consequences.

    When parents cannot handle their own child, they call the catch all number ….911. In some cases (vary rarely)the parents do seek trained child psychologist to help. Guess what number the “trained professionals” call when the child gets out of control on them.

    A police officer tasering a child should be unacceptable. An officer should never be put in that situation. However, until parents step up to the plate and act like parents someone will be forced into dealing with these children.

    During a physical altercation the taser provides the officer and the child the greatest safety.
    Don't do things you don't want to explain to the Paramedics!

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  10. #69
    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    Too much of what I'm hearing is coming from folks who operate in a controlled environment. Situations where you can lay down the rules or set the standards.
    I did with my kids!! However step out of the controlled environment and it is a brand new world. You don't have time to reinforce good behaviour, you have to resolve the situation as best you can.
    Then everyone can take their time and critique from a nice safe location, without any duress at all.
    We will be much better off when we learn to deal with things as they really are, instead of how we wish them to be!

  11. #70
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    Hopyard as one who has physically had to restrain more than one out of control 120 lb. 10 year old "children" in the performance of my duty, I can say, that I would have Tazed them, been justified in using a Tazer on them and would have saved both myself and other personnel the injuries we suffered as a result.

    You can tout the spiel that children aren't small adults all day long until the cows come home. Big deal! It don't wash! As a health care professional with 30 years experience I know all about the physiological and psychological difference their "little bodies" are. As health care providers we take that into consideration every time we deal with children, however, I think you are quite ignoring the fact that your so called little 10 - 12 year old's can possess both the body mass, height, and physical strength of an adult. And if you don't know that, then you should educate yourself to that fact.

    Also, while the following study does not specifically address TASER use on "children" it does show they are not lethal killing machines that you make them out to be. This was a totally independent study done by one police chief who merely likes to do tedious research as a hobby.

    New study: TASERs "as safe as weapons can be," not "instruments of death"


    From The Force Science Institute's Force Science News

    A first-of-its-kind, case-by-case study of in-custody deaths associated with TASER use has confirmed that the popular electronic control devices are by no means the dangerous and often deadly weapons that Amnesty International, the ACLU and media reports frequently suggest.

    Self-described as "kind of a nerd" who approaches tedious research as recreation, Chief Howard Williams of the San Marcos (TX) PD patiently tracked down and analyzed 213 cases in which suspects in the U.S. died after being TASERed. The search took more than a year and cost thousands from his own pocket, but in the end Williams has documented what TASER supporters have long believed:

    These devices are "safe weapons. At least they are as safe as weapons can be."

    During the scope of his investigation, which covered cases from 1983 through 2005, Williams concluded that a TASER can be confirmed as the direct cause of or a significant contributing factor in only 2 deaths, he told Force Science News. "That's less than 1% of the deaths that critics of TASER technology attribute to it."

    Since his study formally ended, he has identified and preliminarily probed some 216 additional post- TASERing fatalities that occurred from 2006 to the present. But he has found no data that would change his initial findings or cast doubt on TASER safety.

    Critics of TASER have failed to "separate evidence from conjecture or to analyze cases" one by one, Williams says. Instead, they've drawn misleading assumptions "based simply on the number of deaths, or on a misunderstanding of how the devices work, or on speculation of potential problems with the use of electromuscular disruption technology."

    In contrast, he says his study objectively analyzes "the credible evidence"--including "what medical experts know about sudden death, the technical operations of conducted energy weapons, the physiological effects of TASER devices, and the facts of each case--to determine the true role" of TASERs in suspects' fatalities.

    Williams' discoveries are reported in a 212-page book, TASER Electronic Control Devices and Sudden In-custody Death: Separating Evidence from Conjecture, issued recently by Charles C. Thomas Publishers [Call (800) 258-8980 or order a copy online]

    "Given all the headlines, the controversy and the lawsuits generated by TASER-related deaths, it's ironic that a lone police official steps up to conduct this kind of vital research rather than it being a priority mandate by a major governmental entity," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. "Sadly, this speaks to the lack of interest at the state and federal level for funding research into practical, street-level enforcement issues.

    "Chief Williams' study will not be the final scientific statement on the ramifications of TASER use. But it presents the clearest picture to date regarding a core controversy that in the past has produced far more heat than light."

    Williams first got interested in exploring the "death by TASER" issue, which he considers "the most significant law enforcement controversy of the last decade," when he was struck by the contrast between what he saw of TASER use on the street and what he read in the media and from activist groups about it.

    On one hand were officers' success stories--incidents that might otherwise have escalated to baton beatings or shootings being resolved earlier and less violently, fewer on-the-job injuries by officers, fewer ER trips by subdued suspects thanks to TASER deployment. On the other hand were alarming allegations by Amnesty and other groups, strongly implying if not charging outright that TASERs were responsible for scores of offender deaths and calling for moratoriums on the "dangerous" devices' use.

    Williams tells his CJ students at Texas State University, where he's an adjunct faculty member, "You do not have to trust what anyone tells you. Research it yourself." So he took his own advice and started looking into TASER-related deaths, determined to see what the evidence revealed.

    Searching out leads on the Internet and through media databases at Texas State, he compiled a comprehensive list of reported fatalities. Then through freedom of information requests, he pursued each case and got police reports, autopsy results and other official records wherever possible and supplemented these with whatever news coverage he could garner. He amassed stacks of information 2 to 3 feet high on his desk at home and waded through them item by item, tabulating and analyzing.

    Each of the 213 cases he verified is described in narrative detail in his book and includes the name, age, race and gender of the deceased; the date of the incident and the death; the agency involved; the cause of death, plus contributing factors; and the role of the TASER device deployed. Unique to Williams' study, these accounts in themselves make fascinating reading and represent a prodigious amount of research.

    But the payoff, of course, is the conclusions Williams draws from his analyses. These include the following highlights:

    Early generation fatalities. The first 42 of Williams' case studies represent deaths that occurred before 2000 and followed the use of first- and second-generation TASER weapons (the TASER TF-76, the Tasertron and the Air TASER 34000, which "relied mainly on pain compliance") against aggressive or resistive subjects.

    A TASER device cannot be confirmed as a cause of death or even as a significant contributing factor in any of these "Group 1" cases, Williams reports.

    By the study's definition, TASER can be "confirmed" as a direct cause of death only in instances where the subject likely would have survived had the weapon not been used.

    Later generation fatalities. The other 171 deaths, considered "Group 2" events, followed the application of third- and fourth-generation weapons (Advanced TASER M26 and the TASER X26, which depend on "electromuscular disruption technology").

    In this category, TASER can be confirmed as a cause of death in only 1 case and confirmed as a significant contributing factor in only 1 other, Williams concludes.

    "The evidence makes the case that TASER devices are not instruments of death," Williams asserts. "The only conclusion the evidence supports is that they are safe weapons."

    Case details. The sole case of confirmed death-by-TASER involved extreme circumstances in subduing a 29-year-old black male prisoner in South Carolina named Maurice Cunningham. After a night of hallucinating that snakes were around him, Cunningham escaped his cell in a sheriff's facility, stabbed 2 officers in the eye with a pencil and tried to gouge out the eyes of a third officer.

    He was shocked 5 times with a TASER, for a cumulative total of 35 seconds, but "he ripped the probes out and continued to fight," Williams reports. After an ineffective use of chemical spray, he was zapped with a second TASER, the probes hitting in his left arm and thigh. Williams notes: "The deputy held the trigger for 2 minutes 49 seconds," before Cunningham collapsed and was soon after pronounced dead.

    "[T]he coroner listed Cunningham's cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia due to TASER shocks," Williams writes. "Pathologists found that [his] heart suffered damage at a cellular level purportedly from the electrical current [and] concluded that the probes...completed a circuit in his body that disrupted the electrical system that controls the heart."

    The single case in which Williams classified TASER as a significant contributing cause of death also represents an anomaly of circumstances. This offender was Jerry Pickens, a 55-year-old white male who hostilely confronted sheriff's deputies in his front yard in Louisiana when they arrived to investigate a family dispute.

    Against their orders, Pickens tried to re-enter his residence. They TASERed him, and he stiffened and fell, striking his head on the driveway. He was declared brain-dead at the hospital and died 3 days later when doctors pulled the plug on life support. The coroner ruled that he died of a brain hemorrhage from the fall. "Clearly," Williams writes, "the fall...was caused by application of the TASER."

    Predisposing factors. Williams reports that subjects who die in custody or during an arrest after a TASER is used against them tend to share certain characteristics that seem to "predispose" them to an increased risk of sudden death quite apart from any TASER involvement.

    These include: obesity, coronary problems, illicit drug use, mental illness, too much or too little psychotropic medication, alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, diabetes and hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, dehydration, head injuries (current or historic) and vigorous physical activity that may trigger ventricular fibrillation.

    For example, nearly 70% of Group 1 subjects and more than 72% of those in Group 2 were users of illicit drugs (most often cocaine). Nearly 40% in Group 2 showed evidence of heart disease.

    In all, Williams found, a coroner or medical examiner observed at least 1 predisposing factor in nearly 88% of the cases studied. In more than 35%, at least 2 such factors were confirmed.

    Williams pointed out to Force Science News that the prevalence of predisposing factors is roughly the same among subjects who die after being TASERed and those who die suddenly in custody without any TASER involvement--further indication that the use of the electronic weapon "is not creating any special risk."

    On the other hand, he notes, "[T]he risk of sudden death following violent exertion, such as a struggle with police or straining against restraints, increases manifold for people with predisposing factors."

    TASER failures. Interestingly, Williams documents a high rate of TASER failure associated with post- TASERing deaths; either the electronic application did not stop the individual or stopped him only temporarily and "some other form of force had to be used to get the subject under control." Among Group 1 cases, "the TASER pulse was ineffective in subduing the target" some 71% of the time. In Group 2, the ineffective rate was nearly 60%.

    This may suggest the exceptionally high level of agitation and violent determination in subjects who end up dying as compared to other offenders who are TASERed, where the effectiveness level is much higher.

    Moreover, the vast majority of subjects in both Groups 1 and 2 did not fatally collapse within 5 to 15 seconds after the application of a TASER device, "an indication that the current from the TASER pulses did not affect their hearts' rhythm" as critics often conjecture, Williams says.

    Media/activist shortcomings. TASER critics and the media have emphasized that the number of deaths after use of electronic devices is rising, and they conclude that this increase is occurring because TASERs cause deaths. Fallacious thinking, Williams insists.

    "First, there is no evidence that the total number of custody deaths is rising," he states. Deaths after TASER use are rising, but that's because the number of police agencies in the U.S. equipping officers with TASERs has increased more than 10 fold since 2001.

    What activists and the media seize upon, he says, is a correlation between TASER use and sudden death. "[T]his is an unscientific linking of 2 events" just because one follows another, Williams writes, not a true cause-and-effect relationship. "The sun rises after the cock crows, but that doesn't mean there's a causal relationship," he offers as comparison.

    Indeed, he notes, other studies have shown "a much higher correlation between sudden death and heart disease, sudden death and the use of...drugs, and sudden death and bizarre behavior than between sudden death and the use of a TASER... [T]ens of thousands of people who have been shocked with a TASER device survived without ill effects."

    Williams points out that investigators "usually need several days or weeks to determine the facts, complete the investigation, and determine whether a TASER pulse, or any other factor, played a role in an unexpected death."

    Typically, the media prominently play initial stories of post- TASERing deaths, but the public gets "little sense of the results of the investigations or of the coroners' findings." News reports presented one case he cites in his study "as being related to the discharge of a TASER device, but tests proved that the device was not properly charged and could not have delivered a shock."

    Often results indicating that TASERing was not a death factor are buried in little-read sections of newspapers or totally ignored by TV news. Williams tells of one particularly egregious example of post-investigation reporting in which the headline read: "Cocaine Blamed for TASER Death."

    "Trying to educate the media is hopeless," Williams told FSN. Like TASER's activist critics, "too many in the media have an agenda. That's obvious when you read their articles."

    In the future, Williams is hopeful that a central database will be created at the federal level to collect meaningful information on in-custody deaths, similar to the reporting that exists for crime records. This would make possible a more comprehensive ongoing analysis of the role played by the TASER and other factors in suspect fatalities.

    Meanwhile, he continues gathering information on his own in anticipation of eventually revising and updating his study. He'd like to hear from people who have observations or contributions regarding his work--including critics.

    "I'm open to debate and discussion," he says. "If anyone can show me I'm wrong, I'd welcome it. I'm a Little League umpire, so I'm used to criticism."

    To contact Williams, you can email him at: howardewilliams@msn.com

    [Thanks to Wayne Schmidt, executive director of Americans for Effective Law Enforcement, for tipping us to Chief Williams' study.]
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  12. #71
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    I am not and never have been a police officer. Fact is, even in rural areas, physical fights between police and criminals are very dangerous for the police. I put out the money to buy tasers in our small town for officer safety. I could care less if some criminal or kid feels brutalized by the taser. Don't fight with the police. It is a good lesson to learn while a kid or an adult. Drugged, drunk, mad, or throwing a tantrum makes no difference. Don't fight with the police.

    I am amazed at claims taser use in this situation is child abuse. Especially when I have a pretty good idea most people know the terrible abuse that happens to some ten year old girls and other children in our country. It makes me sick what some parents and adults do to children. Calling taser use child abuse cheapens the term.

    Somebody needs to go out to the farm and get into a cattle prod fight. Those cattle prods would knock us kids down and felt like a hoof in the side. Nobody died that I knew. Some went crying to their mama. That generally brought a whipping to the winner of the cattle prod fight. I know, child abuse.

  13. #72
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnutty View Post
    Too much of what I'm hearing is coming from folks who operate in a controlled environment. Situations where you can lay down the rules or set the standards.
    I did with my kids!! However step out of the controlled environment and it is a brand new world. You don't have time to reinforce good behaviour, you have to resolve the situation as best you can.
    Then everyone can take their time and critique from a nice safe location, without any duress at all.
    Ain't that the truth. So many people think the police are supposed to set right a lifetime of bad parenting in a ten minute call. Give me a break.

  14. #73
    Senior Member Array Lewis128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiwee View Post
    I am not and never have been a police officer. Fact is, even in rural areas, physical fights between police and criminals are very dangerous for the police. I put out the money to buy tasers in our small town for officer safety. I could care less if some criminal or kid feels brutalized by the taser. Don't fight with the police. It is a good lesson to learn while a kid or an adult. Drugged, drunk, mad, or throwing a tantrum makes no difference. Don't fight with the police.

    I am amazed at claims taser use in this situation is child abuse. Especially when I have a pretty good idea most people know the terrible abuse that happens to some ten year old girls and other children in our country. It makes me sick what some parents and adults do to children. Calling taser use child abuse cheapens the term.

    Somebody needs to go out to the farm and get into a cattle prod fight. Those cattle prods would knock us kids down and felt like a hoof in the side. Nobody died that I knew. Some went crying to their mama. That generally brought a whipping to the winner of the cattle prod fight. I know, child abuse.
    Amen! And bless you for ponying-up for the Tazers!
    I am disgusted by the people calling this child abuse, and arm-chair quarter-backing every move the LEO made.

    The real tragedy here is this "single mom" calling the cops in to do the job of THE CHILD'S FATHER. I lost count of the number of people refering back to how their parents (plural!!!!!!!) raised them.
    Regardless of how it came about, no single parent can raise a child as effectively as two parents. And no cop can fix in a 10 minute call, what mommy dearest has been screwing up for 10 years.

    This forum isn't intended for debating the best way to raise/discipline a child. It's about self defense.
    This LEO was assaulted by a subject at a domestic disturbance call who CLEARLY had the size and strength to pose a viable threat.
    The LEO defended himself, and gained control of the situation in the manner he was trained to do.
    The views expressed above are the opinion of the poster and may or may not be total bunk.
    Viewer discretion is advised.

  15. #74
    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    Don't people have to pass a basic intelligence test to go to the police academy? This is moronic beyond description.
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  16. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpwing View Post
    You can be put in jail for disciplining your kids properly these days. That ain't no lie.
    Or...in the extreme....you can be put to death....BY YOUR OWN KIDS!!!
    Just ask "Wally & The Beav" Menendez......
    "Our parents spanked us....."
    Hey, that sure sounds like sufficient grounds for a parental execution,
    RIGHT??!

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