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The details about a Prince George BC Canada Taser incident in which an 11-year-old kid got juiced are somewhat sketchy. In fact, they are sketchy enough to provoke more questions than answers about the incident. What is known is that the 11-year-old lightning rod had stabbed an adult caregiver prior to the Taser incident. He was found in a neighbor’s yard brandishing a knife by the RCMP and apparently refused to drop the weapon. An RCMP officer with 18 months service then lit up the kid’s life with a Taser. The incident has provoked a serious amount of outrage, despite the fact that in depth information is unavailable . . .

Thus the need to answer a few more questions before the jury of public opinion lands on the cop. As the Canadian Press reports, the kid was in a residential custody situation, presumably because his parents had relinquished their parenting responsibilities to the state.

Little is known about the kid, beyond his identity as a First Nation (Native Canadian Indian) child. His obvious need for 24-hour supervision suggests that he had some very serious personal behavior problems.

One might wonder whether his issues were the result of physical or emotional problems in his life-or a combination platter of both. Is he the end product of fetal alcohol syndrome or simply the victim of a very bad home environment? His current living arrangements suggest that he was beyond the reach of an open door home as a ward of the state.

The light service record of the unidentified RCMP officer was likely a factor in the decision. But a gender issue may have also entered into the equation. Was the RCMP officer a young female police officer who may have felt genuinely threatened by the kid?

An 11 year old boy may not be a particularly imposing figure to an averaged sized male officer, but he may look larger to a smaller female cop. The unknown gender of the RCMP officer makes this part of the puzzle.

Personally I would lean toward the decision to zap the kid. The risk factor of a kid with a knife (and a very recent willingness to use it) makes the Taser decision a clean and easy one for me. I would shoot first and ask questions later under these conditions, despite the risk to the kid.

The fact is that he did survive the Taser incident. It seems to me that the police officer took the right course of action.

21 Responses to Does an 11-Year-Old Deserve a Taser Jump Start?

  1. I agree. Despite the sketchy details I think the right choice was made. An 11 yr old with a knife, as well as a propensity to use it, could still do some damage; especially if you walked up and just tried to take it away.

  2. Assuming the so-far facts are true, of course you tase a suspected criminal who just stabbed someone and won’t put down the knife. How many other options are there? Trade him the knife for a lollipop?

  3. If you can prosecute an 11 year old as an adult for murder, you can sure as hell tase one if he’s waving a knife at you.

  4. Good thing Canadian children don’t live in the US, tasering of children has become fairly commonplace in the states. Even children younger than 11, some without weapons, for simply not complying with police orders (like “stop”).

    http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&q=child+tasered

    Personally I feel if whatever a suspect (or child) is doing, if it doesn’t warrant cracking them over the head with a nightstick or a flashlight, it shouldn’t warrant tasering either. If a police officer can not control an unarmed child without using a weapon, they’re probably in the wrong line of work.

    • See, but tazering doesn’t leave bruises, and those look REALLY bad if the cop gets looked at for misconduct.

  5. I’m also on the cop’s side in this, but what does this have to do with guns? Are we loosely defining guns to include Tasers? That seems to be getting into dangerous Top Shot-like territory, including anthing you can kick, throw, spit or fling.

  6. I say taser him first and there’s no need to ask any silly questions. The little bastard’s lucky he didn’t get shot!

  7. The question posed about the gender/size of the cop seems less relevant than the size of the knife. Swiss Army pocket knife is very different than 8″ Chef’s Knife in the hands of any person. And as we established the kid was clearly willing to use it either way.

    Never the less, its sad that an 11 yeard old kid finds himself in such a situation.

    • Unless the kid was going all Crocodile Dundee with his Arkansas Toothpick, the cop might have overreacted. But since I wasn’t there, and nobody died, I say WTF.

  8. Well, pepper spray and the taser are lower on the steps of the levels of minimum necessary force. Going hands on without using one could easily result in injury to the child-maybe even cutting or stabbing of the child as he fell. I always preferred the spray, but it wasn’t my call. It always looks better than accidentally breaking Junior’s arm.

    • Gotta say too-if “Damien” had stabbed me (and I do know what it feels like), I would have treated him like an adult!

      • They shoulda released a hound or some pepper spray I think. Personally I woulda shocked the bastard but that leads to whining and suing and somesuch.

    • What I’d like to know is why in hell this cretin wasn’t beetan within an inch of his life by the adults standing around Perhaps there were no real, actual adults present? Where the hell was this kid’s mother anyway? Somebody who did that to one of my young sons would not be able to walk afterwards unless he shot me dead.I’d think that any REAL man (or woman) who witnessed that would feel some obligation to deal with such a monster but maybe not these days. Too much Ritalin and learned helplessness, I guess.

  9. With the facts on hand, I agree with the officer. Not too many choices. The age does not matter.

    I was 6 feet tall at 11 years old. And probably weighed 190. So I can sympathize with the officer. Not all kids look like kids.

  10. He’s an 11 year old boy. I was a an 11 year old boy some time in the distant past. He deserved to be tasered.

    • When the person with the badge tells you to put it down, and you don’t put it down, you pretty much deserve what happens next. It doesn’t really matter how old you are.

      And the kid had already stabbed someone? Yeah, he deserved it.

      • An eye for an eye. Maybe the little fucker should have learned what it feels like to have cold steel go in him.

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