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.