LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A police officer who used a stun gun on an unruly 10-year-old girl after he said her mother gave him permission has been suspended — not for using the weapon but for not having a video camera attached when he used it.
Mayor Vernon McDaniel said officer Dustin Bradshaw was suspended Wednesday for seven days with pay for not following department procedures, because he didn't have the camera on.
McDaniel wants Arkansas State Police or the FBI to look into whether the use of the Taser was proper. The girl, who hasn't been identified, wasn't injured and is now at youth shelter.
Police were called to the home Nov. 11 after the girl's mother couldn't get her to take a shower.
Bradshaw's report says the girl was "violently kicking and verbally combative" when Bradshaw tried to take her into custody, and she kicked him in the groin. He said he delivered "a very brief drive stun to her back."
"Her mother told me to tase her if I needed to," Bradshaw wrote.
Police Chief Jim Noggle said Wednesday that Taser stun guns are a safe way to subdue people who are a danger to themselves or others.
"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, referring to the stun gun's brand.
If the officer tried to forcefully put the girl in handcuffs, he could have accidentally broken her arm or leg, Noggle said.
Noggle said the girl will face disorderly conduct charges as a juvenile in the incident.
The girl's father, Anthony Medlock, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that his daughter has emotional problems, but that she didn't have a weapon and shouldn't have been stunned.
"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.
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