Shocking Story of Police Shooting a 6 Year Old Kid.
MIAMI (Nov. 13) - Miami-Dade police have acknowledged using a stun gun on a second youngster just weeks after subduing a 55-pound first-grader with a 50,000-volt shock.
In the second instance, a 15-year-veteran officer used his Taser to immobilize a 12-year-old girl who was playing hooky from school.
Police Director Bobby Parker defended the decision to shock the 6-year-old boy on Oct. 20 because he was threatening to injure himself with a shard of glass he was holding, but he said Friday that he could not defend the decision to shock the fleeing girl, who was apparently drunk.
According to the incident report, officer William Nelson responded to a complaint that children were swimming in a pool, drinking alcohol and smoking cigars about 11 a.m. on Nov. 5.
Nelson said he noticed the girl was intoxicated and told her to get dressed so he could take her back to school.
"While walking the girl to the police car, she took off running through the parking lot," Nelson wrote in his report.
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Nelson, 38, said he chased her and yelled several times for her to stop. Nelson said he pulled out the Taser and fired when the girl began to run into traffic. The electric probes hit the girl in the neck and lower back, immobilizing her with 50,000 volts.
Nelson said he fired "for my safety along with the girl's safety." Paramedics treated the girl, who went home with her mother.
Parker said department policy permits officers to use the Taser to apprehend someone, but he said he expected his officers to use better judgment, especially when police had no plans to arrest someone playing hooky.
The first incident had already exposed the department to more criticism for its use of Tasers, which it has begun distributing in greater numbers to officers.
"The police could have handled this better," said the 6-year-old boy's mother, Kathy Rojas. "They did not have to shoot him."
Parker said that, in light of the disclosure of the second incident, the department will review its policy.
11-13-04 11:40 ES