Use of Taser on 8-year-old girl justified, Pierre police say

Argus Leader
Oct. 10, 2013

The Pierre police chief is defending an officer’s use of an electroshock weapon against an 8-year-old girl who was threatening to harm herself.

Parents of the child, who was with a baby sitter at the time, want the officer disciplined for using excessive force.

Police Chief Bob Grandpre said three officers responded Friday night to a report of a suicidal 8-year-old girl who had stabbed herself in the leg. She was holding a 4 ˝-inch knife to her chest when officers arrived and refused to put it down, he said.

One officer took a step toward the child but stopped when she turned the knife toward him.

“She immediately put the knife back at her chest,” the chief said.

That’s when an officer deployed his Taser, with prongs hitting her chest and stomach. Emergency medical personnel soon arrived and checked the child, he said, who was taken to a hospital and placed on a 24-hour hold. The child had no stab wounds on her leg, he said.

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