Joined: 28 Jan 2009
Location: The centre of the universe
|Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:52 pm Post subject:
|It sounds to me, in a lot of ways, there's a lot of issues here.
First off, is possible breaking of procedures when using force. That is immaterial to why the force was used, should the officer have been negligent in performing his duties in regards to weapons of any sort, well he needs to be disciplined for that. Weapons are not toys, and high and exacting standards are required.
Second off, was force required?
That is a big issue, before getting into the age and gender of his duties. One of the rights that we as a society do give our officers, is the option of using force, up to and including lethal force.In order to maintain law and order, as well as the lives and safety of others. With that force of course comes with the responsibility of using the minimum required force, with the appropriate level for the situation. That being said, the reasonable person test comes into play.
1 - Did the Officer feel his life, others lives or public order was in jeopardy?
2 - Did the Officer use the correct amount of force in order to protect life and or public order?
3 - Did the Officer use an escalation of force based upon the situation?
4 - Was the Officer trained in the correct use of force, as well as the options required?
5 - Was there no other choice than the Officer to go directly to go to such level of force?
6 - Was the Officer using force in the performance of duties?
Those are the key questions here.
Personally, I think that the officer did make an error in his judgment, not in the fact that the person was a child, but rather that the officer failed points 1,2 and 6.
There's no laws being broken, at worst, trespassing / criminal damage by the child. There's no law in the land that says children must obey their parents. Thus, the only real reason the officer would even be involved in the situation is if the child was causing criminal damage, at which point, I would support the calling of police in that situation, as there was a law broken, and thus legal and police action must be maintained. The law does not discriminate between children and parents. As for trespassing, then should the parent want to give up custody of the child to the state, which is entirely in their rights, then at that point of course, I am assuming that the police would be right in removing the child, with force if needed from the premises, due to the fact any sort of implied living arrangement would be voided.
Is it right to use a tazer on a child, yes, should it be needed in order to maintain law and order. It isn't an ethical issue, as we have seen how children in other countries are used for terror and or crime, the age of the person does not matter, what matters is that any sort of lethal or non lethal force be used in accordance to rules and guidelines set out, as well as the social contract that society maintains with its law enforcement and military.
By law, the police have to respond to any complaint, and by law, they have to investigate and report force correctly, they also must obey the law, and enforce the law. As far as I can see it, there was no laws broken, unless the child did assault / damage or something of that nature. At which point, should the officer need to use force to detain, or maintain order, then he would be entirely correct in that. However, again, proportional force must be used.