Another week, another galling report of police brutality.
This time, the victim is an 8-year-old Rosebud Sioux girl whose babysitter called the cops when the child threw a tantrum while holding a paring knife. The babysitter told the 911 dispatcher that the girl was trying to cut herself but also admitted there was no visible blood. In other words, this was more a case of an unprepared babysitter than a suicidal kid.
Nevertheless, police arrived and tased the girl within two minutes of meeting her. Explains the family’s attorney:
The material facts are fairly undisputed, they walked in, they saw a child holding a small kitchen knife throwing a tantrum and they shot her with 50,000 volts of electricity with a weapon that put two hooks into her.
As the girl’s grandmother commented, the way police escalated the situation is totally inexcusable:
Four police officers responded to this…To a little girl who stands maybe only 4 feet tall. All you have to do is grab her arm and correct the situation. I feel that these guys must not have been in their right minds. At that age, children are very easily talked into changing their minds. I find it ridiculous because I just don’t see how this could happen.
Only after the tasering was the child’s mother called—a move which indicates they had (or could easily have gotten) her number all along.
Per the grandmother’s account, the police’s continued defense of their actions included the excuse that they could have used a baton or handgun instead.
Two months after the incident, which occurred last year but is only just now receiving extensive media attention, the local State’s Attorney, one Wendy Kloeppner, released a report which stated “she was satisfied with an independent investigation, deploying a taser was the best viable way to diffuse the situation.” As a result, no charges were filed against the officers involved.