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Officer Put On Leave After Tasering Students in School Demonstration

Officer Put On Leave After Tasering Students in School Demonstration

Belleville News-Democrat via YellowBrix

January 14, 2010

CHICAGO — A police officer assigned to Kankakee Junior High School was placed on administrative leave after he allegedly shocked three boys with a Taser as part of an unauthorized demonstration of the device, Kankakee, Ill., police said Wednesday.

The incident happened Tuesday at the school, where the officer is stationed as a school resource officer.

According to a police statement, the officer used the Taser to “touch stun three male students, who reportedly volunteered for the approximately one-second tase as a demonstration.”

The officer was not authorized by the school, district or police department to do a Taser demonstration, police said. A parent later took one student to a local hospital where he was examined and released.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

Alta Young told WLS-TV that her son Miles Maiden was one of the three boys shocked by the officer.

Miles told the station that the officer, a friend of his teacher, came into the classroom offering and yelled “Who wants a Taser?”

“I was like, ‘Let me try it on my finger,’ and he was like ’Let me try it on your thigh,” the boy said in a television interview.

He added that the officer had come in a week ago and shocked a few students.

Young, when she learned about the Wednesday incident, Young took her son, who has a heart murmur, to the emergency room.

“This is not a game you play with children,” she said. “That’s very dangerous.”

Students and employees at the school said Wednesday the tasing incident was the talk of the school.

Some didn’t know what to make of the encounter or which version of the story to believe.

“They said it was pretty bad, that one student was crying and that (the officer) was fired,” said Sammie Hines, 12, a student.

“They said one student had wanted it in his wrist but got tased in his butt,” said Hines’ brother, Henry Jackson, 12.

Many parents were outraged by the stories relayed to them by their children.

“If my son had been involved in something like that, I’d be trying to sue somebody,” said Arita Huff, who arrived after school to pick up her 14 year-old son. “That’s something an adult, an officer on top of that, shouldn’t be playing around with. It’s not a joke. It’s dangerous.”

Friend Savannah Bush, who said she’s currently enrolled in police training, said “you have to be careful using (a Taser) on adults, much less kids. That’s ridiculous.”

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