News of a six-year-old being shot with a taser in a Miami school earlier this week has sparked a fierce debate about using those stun guns on children. State policies don’t specifically address tasers or the use of force on children.
A taser was used to subdue a six-year-old boy wielding a piece of glass in his principal’s office. The boy had already cut himself three times when the police officer shocked him.
Tallahassee police CAPT Chris Connell has used a taser to subdue a person just once in his career.
CAPT Connell says, “It may have been the best solution. If one of the teachers had gone in and gotten cut or the child had been allowed to continue, there would have been an issue there, too.”
Training videos show adult men being tased by police in several circumstances, each to prevent the man from harming himself or someone else. The man drops to the ground, completely incapacitated.
Gov. Jeb Bush wouldn’t condemn the use of a taser on a six-year-old, but concern was clearly all over his face as he took a deep breath before responding.
Gov. Jeb Bush says, “I don’t know the circumstances of why adults couldn’t control a six-year-old.”
The State Department of Education refused requests for an on-camera interview. A spokesman says it’s a law enforcement issue and once the cops show up it’s out of the school’s hands.
The governor says there are policies in place on how to respond to a child who has a weapon and/or is injuring him or herself, but even the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has no specific guidelines on using a taser, and nothing on the use of force against a minor.
A spokesman for the Miami-Dade County Police Department says a “use of force report” is filed in situations where tasers are used. The report is forwarded to Internal Affairs for review.