When it was reported a couple of months ago that two Martinsville police officers had been suspended over an incident in which a 10-year-old boy at a day care center was subdued with a stun gun, I did a post that was skeptical of the police actions. But now a special prosecutor and a grand jury have exonerated the officers, and their arguments that the officers acted appropriately are compelling:
Police were called to the day care after the boy's third violent incident that day in which he bit, kicked, spat at, cursed and struck others with his hands. His foster mother and another woman were unable to restrain him, the police record showed.
The officers tried unsuccessfully to control the boy with their hands, and then Johnson discharged his stun gun against the boy's shoulder. The boy then calmed down, the newspaper reported.
"The evidence demonstrates that the juvenile was engaged in self-injurious behaviors and the use of the Taser stopped that behavior and prevented further self-inflicted injury to this juvenile and possibly others," the police report said.
As I said originally, the danger of a stun gun is that police might resort to it too soon or too often instead of trying other measures first. But in this instance, a case could be made that the stun gun ended something quickly and successfully that would have gone on