Police officers face a flurry of threats on a daily basis, and often times, they’re tasked with hard decisions. One such decision was recently made in which officers deemed it necessary to taser an 8-year-old, knife wielding girl, in which the State attorney justified the officer’s actions – the girl’s parents however, are none too pleased.
According to the police report, 911 dispatchers received a call where the girl’s baby sitter said she had a knife and was trying to cut herself. Upon making their way to the location, police officers were there a mere 2 minutes before deploying the use of their taser in an attempt to disarm the girl.
Since that time, Hughes County State Attorney Wendy Kloeppner has reviewed the facts of the case and said that the actions in which the officers saw fit to use, were justified. Announcing that no charges would be filed against the officer involved, she went on to relay she, “was satisfied with an independent investigation, deploying a taser was the best viable way to diffuse the situation.”
The family however aren’t all that happy with the results of the investigation after saying that their daughter is and was not suicidal, nor did officers need to use a taser. According to 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.”
He went on to convey, there was no blood and, “There was no cutting at all, this was a child throwing a tantrum.” The girl’s mother, Dawn Stenstrom, has recently come forward saying, “Everybody knows my daughter, she is a very energetic and loves meeting people. She is a total sweetheart. She can talk your ear off, that is for sure. I just don’t understand why they say she was suicidal or why they just couldn’t have called me.”
Saying that the police officers acted too quickly, instead she said, “I would think that would have been the first thing they would do is to give me a call and let me know what is going on because I could be the one to settle her down. Obviously they had my number because after they tasered her they called me.”
So which is it – is a person with a knife considered a threat no matter their age or does the fact that she was so young mean officers should have responded differently?