The mayor of the tiny Arkansas town of Ozark has asked the FBI to look into the actions of police who Tasered a 10-year-old girl for throwing a tantrum when her mother told her it was bath time.
After being zapped, the girl, whose name is being withheld because she is a minor, was cuffed, carried to the police car and taken to a youth shelter.
"People here feel like that he made a mistake in using a Taser, and maybe he did, but we will not know until we get an impartial investigation," said Mayor Vernon McDaniel, who asked both the state police and FBI to investigate. However, neither law-enforcement agency seems willing to get involved, The Associated Press reports.
No disciplinary action has been taken against Officer Dustin Bradshaw, who jolted the girl on Nov. 11, Police Chief Jim Noggle told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He said that that Tasers are a safe way for officers to mellow out-of-control suspects.
"We didn't use the Taser to punish the child — just to bring the child under control so she wouldn't hurt herself or somebody else," Noggle said. Besides, he noted, she was only zapped for "less than a second."
But that was a second too long, the girl's father, Anthony Medlock, told the Democrat-Gazette. He said that his daughter has emotional problems and should not have been Tasered. "My daughter does not deserve to be Tased and be treated like an animal," said Medlock, who is divorced from the girl's mother and does not have custody.
In his report, Bradshaw said he was called to the girl’s home because of a domestic disturbance. He said that when he arrived the girl was curled up on the floor, "screaming, kicking and resisting every time her mother tried to touch her." Her mother told the officer he could "tase her" if needed, and they then carried the girl into the shower. The girl continued to defy her mother's orders.
"At this point I decided that there was not going to be a peaceful resolution to the issue," Bradshaw wrote. "I moved her into the living room and told her she was going to jail. She continued kicking and crying and I began to try to place her under arrest. She was jerking her arms away from me violently while I was trying to cuff her and thrashing about wildly.
"While she was violently kicking and verbally combative, [the girl] struck me with her legs and feet in the groin. The subject was actively resisting arrest at this time. I was having a difficult time placing the cuffs on her and administered a very very brief drive stun to her back with my [T]aser. She immediately stopped resisting and was placed into handcuffs. She would not walk on her own and I had to carry her to my police car."