Cop tasers handcuffed 13 year old and gets 3 day suspension


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jsalcedo
May 23, 2005, 09:58 PM
http://www.local6.com/news/4496638/detail.html

I love this quote:

Sgt. D.E. Smith, who was called to the scene, said, "Please don't tell me this is the person you Tased."


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An officer has been suspended for zapping a 13-year-old girl at least twice with a stun gun while she was handcuffed in his caged patrol car.



A 13-year-old girl is hit at least twice with a stun gun while handcuffed in a caged patrol car.




An internal report by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Llahsmin Lynn Kallead was handcuffed and in the back seat of the patrol car when Officer G.A. Nelson stunned her, the Florida Times-Union reported for Tuesday editions.

Nelson and his partner had been called to the apartment Kallead shares with her mother Rosie Vaughan because they were fighting Feb. 7.



Vaughan wanted police to help get medical help for her daughter, who had been hospitalized for observation in the past for emotional disorders, the newspaper said.

Nelson, a 6-foot-2 officer weighing 300 pounds, allegedly used the low-setting stun mode when the 4-foot-8 Kallead wormed the handcuffs from behind her back and would not do as directed. "The situation was under control at this point," the internal report said.

Sgt. D.E. Smith, who was called to the scene, said, "Please don't tell me this is the person you Tased."

Department spokesman Ken Jefferson said Nelson has been suspended for three days.

"A supervisor questioned the judgment of the officer, and he began the investigation process," Jefferson said Monday.

Nelson did not violate written guidelines on using stun guns, but his actions showed poor judgment, the report said. He had been trained to use Tasers and received training as an instructor in January.

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nico
May 23, 2005, 10:26 PM
Nelson did not violate written guidelines on using stun guns
it sounds like their written guidelines need some revision and/or clarification.

griz
May 23, 2005, 11:35 PM
A handcuffed 4 foot 8 inch 13 YO girl. I know that LEOs don't like to condemn their own, but try and see how bad this looks to plain ol citizens. And please don't tell me how bad a three day suspension is. It should be a crime to zap restrained people, even full grown people. Would you arrest a parent who zapped their 13 YO daughter because she was uncontrollable? Please tell me that you can see the double standard here.

nico
May 23, 2005, 11:39 PM
It should be a crime to zap restrained people, even full grown people.
I disagree. Many adults can be very violent and difficult to handle even when in handcuffs, so I wouldn't want to have a blanket policy like that. But, I don't see any way that tasering a 13 year old girl who is already handcuffed in the cage of the cruiser could ever be justified.

Vernal45
May 23, 2005, 11:41 PM
Florida again.


WOW, just WOW.


I will refrain from comment, It wont do any good. I will sit back, watch the LEO apologists defend this one.

Should be fun.

Combat-wombat
May 23, 2005, 11:41 PM
What IS it with Florida and unwarranted taserings?

Edited to add: ...Not even mentioning Rasta-DEA agents with Glock Fo'tys.

joab
May 23, 2005, 11:51 PM
It should be a crime to zap restrained people, even full grown people. Maybe, butNelson did not violate written guidelines on using stun guns Apparently it's not. Revision of the guidelines and at the most a 3 day suspension. Personally I think making fun of him in the locker room might do the trick. The purpose of punishment should be to make sure it doesn't happen again, not revenge
Would you arrest a parent who zapped their 13 YO daughter because she was uncontrollable? Sure they would, just as a person would be arrested for ordering someone out of their car at gunpoint for not pulling over on command. Cops are tasked with doing things ordinary citizen can't do. Just as apples are tasked with growing in trees that oranges can't
But, I don't see any way that tasering a 13 year old girl who is already handcuffed in the cage of the cruiser could ever be justified. I'd pay a dollar to anyone that can

Orthonym
May 24, 2005, 12:06 AM
I dunno, I used to think it was subclinical insecticide poisoning, or the kind of warped minds who believe Real Estate ads, or something, but, yup, we're pretty weird here, even the most "normal" of us.

I am reminded of the time I was complaining about mean FL cops to a friends wife (who lived in the sorority house at FSU either just before or just after Mr. Bundy did one of his abduction/murders there).

She said to me something like, " Now [Orthonym], go down to the Post Office and look at the Wanted posters. At the bottom, it will generally say something like "Last seen in Florida.""

I grew up in this state and it chaps my donkey to see things drift ever more toward the cheap, the quick, the nasty, and the trashy, but it proceeds apace and there ain't nuthin I can do about it.

Grumble!

R.H. Lee
May 24, 2005, 12:15 AM
Haloooo, Florida, (again)

Nelson, a 6-foot-2 officer weighing 300 pounds,
He'd probably run out of donuts and was experiencing low blood sugar. :p

RevDisk
May 24, 2005, 12:24 AM
It should be a crime to zap restrained people, even full grown people.

Errr. Nope. People in just a set of handcuffs can still be dangerous. One of my ex's could be handcuffed behind her back, sorta dislocate her arms (or maybe double jointed? Freaky, either way) and brought them in front of her. We liked to amuse some of our cop buddies by showing it. They always got this horrified cringing look on their face.

Anyways. There should always be some lee-way in guidelines for unusual circumstances. Now, tasing a handcuffed kid in the cage is... uh... well. His supervisor said it for me. Barring circumstances unknown to this officer's supervisors, I'd say it was excessive and likely uncalled for.

Orthonym
May 24, 2005, 12:26 AM
I mean, Lynndie England was photographed just pointing and laughing at mild hazing, and she's looking at about a decade in the joint.

Oh that's right, policemen are "special".

Look, there seems to be something about being here (in FL) that induces dangerous lunacy in people, both the Govt. employees and the freelance criminals. It's very trying to attempt to behave rationally and politely here, and have both of those groups look at one in a nasty, creepy way!

Edited for clarity: Inserted (in FL) after "here."

Illuminaughty
May 24, 2005, 01:04 AM
Not enough details to pass judgement. Being female and 13 years old does not make you incapable of doing SOMETHING threatening.

Derby FALs
May 24, 2005, 01:27 AM
Not enough details to pass judgement. Being female and 13 years old does not make you incapable of doing SOMETHING threatening.

There was enough details or they wouldn't have suspended him. :banghead:

Orthonym
May 24, 2005, 01:33 AM
It's Florida! We're nuts! Not in a florid, creative, way, like the California loonies, but in a low sordid nasty rancid way, smelling (if I may nuke a simile) like rotting vegetation and Malathion!

(Yes, just thinking about those smells brings back nostalgic thoughts.)

Jeff
May 24, 2005, 02:09 AM
Nelson, a 6-foot-2 officer weighing 300 pounds, allegedly used the low-setting stun mode when the 4-foot-8 Kallead wormed the handcuffs from behind her back and would not do as directed.

I like the way these articles emphasize the size difference between the two subjects, so if the officer had reacted forcibly-- and utilized the size and weight differences-- it would have been okay. :rolleyes:

It's logically incorrect when those types of details are meant to illicit a reaction when the gist of the article concerns the dis-advantageous nature of the brutality in the first place.

Sure they would, just as a person would be arrested for ordering someone out of their car at gunpoint for not pulling over on command. Cops are tasked with doing things ordinary citizen can't do.

The point here is NOT parents can't do what cops can do, but rather who should get away with what. Certain questionable tactics of force, whether it be applied for discipline, or for reaction to a threat, should be handled accordingly after all the details of the situation have been considered-- whether the applier of force be a cop or a parent. If an individual feels it is necessary to order someone out of his or her car, he better have a good reason. Chances are he won't be able to, however, because he doesn't have the physical equipment to do so. No marked car, no sirens, no uniform. The paraphernalia itself-- the lack of it, I should say-- is the only thing preventing the average citizen from acting in that manner.

Orthonym
May 24, 2005, 02:42 AM
He had to Tase her *TWICE*?

I tellya, we're right mental here! (thinks about busted air-conditioner and how crazy I will get when temperature is 99 degrees and humidity is 100%)

Jeff
May 24, 2005, 02:49 AM
(thinks about busted air-conditioner and how crazy I will get when temperature is 99 degrees and humidity is 100%)


You have another two or three weeks before boiling point.

Good luck! :p

runswithscissors
May 24, 2005, 05:28 AM
The next time a cop is within his legal rights to to do something and someone refuses to cooperate, they should get tased. Mess with cops following the law and you should be prepared to deal with what follows(provided its legal). Bet this bi**h will think twice before flaming at a cop. The cop could have tried to physically get compliance, but then he could be sued for "touching" the young girl. So to this chick I say.... :neener: smarten up.

DeputyVaughn
May 24, 2005, 07:59 AM
I almost hesitate to comment here. (previous experience ya know)

First, I'm not condoning the deputy's actions here. I'm not condemming them either.
Consider: The girl was enough out of control that her parents called for assistance.

Her behavior was such that she was restrained and placed in a patrol car. Because juvenile laws are so messed up, that would not happen unless the situation is really bad. In most juvenile cases, unless a felony has been committed the kid is generally turned over to their parent or gardian anyway.

Patrol car cages,(at least mine) are actually a barrier between the front and back seats. A person determined enough can break the door or back glass out and try to escape or hurt themselves. By getting the cuffs to the front they become a weapon. They are very good for breaking glass or striking with. might hurt but can still be done. I work with a guy with a 4 inch scar on his face from being hit by a "little" girl with cuffs in the front.

Lastly, as runswithscissors mentioned, what would the story have read if the 6'00 300lb deputy had just dove into the back seat to re-restrain this girl. I can see the headline "deputy assaults 13 yr old in back seat of his car". It sounds like a no win situation for the deputy here. I'll remind everyone, we weren't there. Don't judge by a printed story alone.

Question for all, what if he had used O/C spray instead of the taser? Would that have been more acceptable.

My $0.02.

Scott

Zach S
May 24, 2005, 08:49 AM
Lastly, as runswithscissors mentioned, what would the story have read if the 6'00 300lb deputy had just dove into the back seat to re-restrain this girl. I can see the headline "deputy assaults 13 yr old in back seat of his car". It sounds like a no win situation for the deputy here. I'll remind everyone, we weren't there. Don't judge by a printed story alone. I agree. These days, it wouldnt surprise me if a kid was tazed and the article said something along the lines of "couldnt the officer physicly restrain him/her?" This article seems to impy that, comapring the deputy's size with the girl's.

OTOH, it wouldnt surprise me if they physicly restained a kid and the paper said "couldnt they just use their tazer?"

Come to think of it, I think I saw the first one when the LEO tazed the 6yo boy threatening to cut himself with a peice of glass.

HankB
May 24, 2005, 09:35 AM
Hmmm . . . if someone OTHER than an officer did the exact same thing under the exact same circumstances, I wonder what the legal consequences would be?

jsalcedo
May 24, 2005, 09:49 AM
Lastly, as runswithscissors mentioned, what would the story have read if the 6'00 300lb deputy had just dove into the back seat to re-restrain this girl.

How did he cuff her in the first place?

If the cop had pulled her out of the car and re-restrained we wouldn't have heard about it.

Everyday resisting suspects (even young ones) are "controlled" without anyone getting their panties in a wad.

Tasers have their place in police work but they are not a panacea.

Derby FALs
May 24, 2005, 09:57 AM
You guys can whitewash it all you want but his sgt even said he was out of line. :rolleyes:

centac
May 24, 2005, 10:17 AM
While I think this case looks funky at best, people still lose sight of the fact that the Taser is actually very low on the force continuum and preferable to going hands on with people. Tasing someone gains compliance with minimal risk of injury, versus the scratching biting slapping punching kicking that can occur while physically restraining someone. Both the officer and arrestee are at greater risk of injury than with the Taser.

It is the closest thing we have to setting a phaser on stun.

MechAg94
May 24, 2005, 10:46 AM
Well, based on the few details alone, I couldn't convict the guy, but his superiors obviously think it was over the line. I am sure there is more to it.

Just let the LEO's use duct tape to restrain people. :)
Or just let the LEO smack her around a little instead. That would go over well.

CletusFudd
May 24, 2005, 11:32 AM
"Vaughan wanted police to help get medical help for her daughter, who had been hospitalized for observation in the past for emotional disorders, the newspaper said."

I worked in a state hospital for the "emotionally disturbed" when I got out of the Navy and had to restrain people on an almost daily basis. Many of them seemed to lose touch with reality and become violent at the drop of a hat. You CAN'T reason with them. My partner and I were both large men, I'm 6'4", 220 lbs, and would frequently get tossed around by teenagers who went momentarily insane. It was very hard to control them without harming them and I have seen them attack other residents even when given an injection of phenobarbitol. I've been cut, beaten, punched and bitten and if I been given access to a Taser I would have used it.

I'm no fan of bad cops but I can maybe see what happened in this case.

2nd Amendment
May 24, 2005, 11:46 AM
I'd pay a dollar to anyone that can

So which one ya sendin' that dollar to?

*sigh*

pcf
May 24, 2005, 01:30 PM
What happened to the good old days when cops would beat non-compliant suspects into the hospital with impunity?

Maybe he should have hosed the handcuffed non-compliant girl with OC.

Maybe she just should have recieved good old baton to tricep compliance so that arm didn't feel like moving. Not really her fault, it's those dang arms.

Maybe they should have used hinged cuffs and "one arm over the top" so she couldn't wiggle free, not like it's ever hurt anyone.

Maybe they should have used zip cuffs around her elbows, what's a little ciruclation.

Maybe after they re-restrained her, they should have "forgotten" to open the cruiser door when they put her in the backseat head first.

A solid strike to the sternum from a baton or boot will make anyone behave in the back seat.

Maybe they should have let her smoked a joint and chill.

Duct tape?

What should he, the officer, have done?

GhostRider66
May 24, 2005, 01:49 PM
I want some of you folks who think the size mismatch alone was enough to protect the officer to try a little experiment: Next time you're out taking a walk and see a gopher hole (or prarie dog), go ahead and stick your hand in there just to see if the little critter is home or not. Now don't be scared. The little sucker can't weigh over eight pounds or so and he's probably not over a foot long. Of course, there are the big, pointy teeth (couldn't resist)....

Stun her, mace her, whack her around a bit as needed. I just don't see the big deal here. Sounds like reasonable use of force on a suspect who posed a threat.

Coronach
May 24, 2005, 04:32 PM
I will refrain from comment, It wont do any good. I will sit back, watch the LEO apologists defend this one.

Should be fun.You're probably not going to find many "LEO apologists" on this one becuase this one, unlike many of the so-called "unjustified Taserings", is not only prima facia bad, it has also been investigated and ruled bad. Most of the so-called "LEO apologists" are not apologizing/whitewashing, but merely stating that there is not enough information upon which to make an informed judgment. This time, however, people with access to far more 411 than a simple newsblurb have decided that the Tasering was bad.

Mike

joab
May 24, 2005, 07:07 PM
So which one ya sendin' that dollar to The first one that actually justifies repeatedly tasing a 13 YO girl already handcuffed and in custody and in the back of the car.

Remember the word was justify not rationalize
if someone OTHER than an officer did the exact same thing under the exact same circumstances, I wonder what the legal consequences would be They most likely would be facing charges, because they have no authority to detain. More apples to oranges comparisons

pcf
May 24, 2005, 08:20 PM
The first one that actually justifies repeatedly tasing a 13 YO girl already handcuffed and in custody and in the back of the car.

Remember the word was justify not rationalize

Should someone in the custody of the police be allowed to injure themselves or act in manner that could injure themselves?

griz
May 24, 2005, 08:34 PM
OK, good point about a cuffed person still posing a threat. I'll retract my statement about it "ought to be a crime". By the same token, an officer should be smart enough that he doesn't have to refer to a written policy to know when tazering would be frowned upon by 90 percent of the population.

What surprises me is each time this comes up there are people who defend the use of tazers as a compliance tool. I understand the force continuum, and know that a tazer is usually safer than physical force. But tazers are still force, and nowhere in the article did it state she was a threat to the officer or anyone but (possibly) herself. He had already cuffed her once, couldnít he do it again? Maybe Iím assuming too much, but I thought force is only justified for defense and what would be required to arrest a non-cooperative person. Are you saying that force, including tazers, is justified to achieve compliance? More so than the detention in this case, Iím thinking of cases such as the one where a suspect was in restraints on bed, or the one where a marine was not showing enough respect to the officer and both were tazed.

So, does police policy really allow force to be used to secure cooperation from a person who is not a threat?

Coronach
May 24, 2005, 08:47 PM
Should someone in the custody of the police be allowed to injure themselves or act in manner that could injure themselves?Most jurisdications would say that the use of a taser against a handcuffed individual is improper. However, most jurisdictions would allow the use of mace against a handcuffed individual under the same circumstances, assuming that the use of the mace was not punitive in nature, but rather to prevent them from continuing to engage in a certain behavior (spitting, kicking in a manner that could damage a vehicle or themselves, banging one's head against a cage or window). What must be examined before anything is declared reasonable or unreasonable is the total set of circumstances. We don't have that in a newspaper article. However, this officer's chain of command did, and they decided he had to do days for his action. Absent something piece of info to the contrary (which I haven't seen), that's good enough for me.

Could the use of a taser against a cuffed guy be justified? Sure. I can think of scenarios where it might. Was it, in this instance? Not according to people who do this crap for a living, with access to more pertinent facts than me.

Mike

joab
May 24, 2005, 08:52 PM
Should someone in the custody of the police be allowed to injure themselves or act in manner that could injure themselves? Where does the article state that she was in anyway a threat to herself or anybody else. Seems that she simply refused to bow to the authority of the state.

What should he, the officer, have done? According to his chain of command, used better judgement.

Coronach
May 25, 2005, 02:34 PM
Should someone in the custody of the police be allowed to injure themselves or act in manner that could injure themselves?Where does the article state that she was in anyway a threat to herself or anybody else. Seems that she simply refused to bow to the authority of the state.In the vast majority of in-custody macings (and I suppose, some taserings), the chemical agent was used to prevent self-injury, some manner of assault (kicking), or vandalism (kicking out a window). Cops know this, so when your average newspaper article mentions an in-cuffs use of force, everyone with actual experience strongly suspects that scenario, as opposed to an excessive force scenario. However, I firmly agree that in this instance it would not seem to apply. Not only is such a thing not mentioned in the newsblurb (which is completely meaningless), but a subsequent investigation held that the use of the taser was improper (which carries quite a bit of weight).

Also, "refused to bow to the authority of the state" has a nice JBT ring to it, but let's be clear here. She was in custody, and for a reason. It's not like she had orders barked at her while she was walking down the street and minding her own business. ;) I firmly agree that if the tasering was ruled unjustified it was wrong, end of story, but let's keep this in perspective. The officer was fully empowered to issue her orders, he was just not justified in his manner of achieving compliance.

Mike

Sindawe
May 25, 2005, 02:44 PM
Hmmmm...random thought here. Maybe cuffs/restraints could be reworked to include a tazing/shocking mechanism, remotely triggerable by the officer on the scene. The triggering would initiate an alert to the officers superior, the local DA, the local public defender, the ACLU and the media? Oh, and have cameras that point INSIDE the police car as well as a dash cam.

joab
May 25, 2005, 06:20 PM
Also, "refused to bow to the authority of the state" has a nice JBT ring to it, but let's be clear here. She was in custody, and for a reason. It's not like she had orders barked at her while she was walking down the street and minding her own business. I firmly agree that if the tasering was ruled unjustified it was wrong, end of story, but let's keep this in perspective. The officer was fully empowered to issue her orders, he was just not justified in his manner of achieving compliance. Poor choice of words on my part :o

DMF
May 25, 2005, 06:40 PM
Where does the article state that she was in anyway a threat to herself or anybody else. . . . Kallead wormed the handcuffs from behind her back and would not do as directed.I'm flexible enough to get cuffs up front after being cuffed in the back, but I can tell you it's not easy or comfortable no matter how flexible you are. The only reason to do that is to use the cuffs as a weapon and/or to escape.

joab
May 25, 2005, 07:43 PM
I'm flexible enough to get cuffs up front after being cuffed in the back, but I can tell you it's not easy or comfortable no matter how flexible you are. My sister could do it with ease so can my son
The only reason to do that is to use the cuffs as a weapon and/or to escape.
Apparently you have never been in the back of a car with your hands cuffed behind your back, now that's damned uncomfortable.

As long as we're mind reading, what other reason could a defiant teenager have to disobey an officer's orders

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