Ozark: Shocking place. UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ozark: Shocking place. UPDATE

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 8:55 AM

You know an Ozark cop Tased a 10-year-old. You know the cop has defended his action. You know the chief has defended the action. The girl was struggling, she had to be subdued. That's is the line.

But I didn't know until reading the paper today that the officer was called to the house, entered it, and physically engaged the child because -- SHE REFUSED TO TAKE A SHOWER.

This seems wrong on so many levels it defies reaction more than spluttering.

Can Mom call the cops if hubby refuses to pick up his dirty clothes? And then have him Tased if he resists?

Maybe stun gun usage -- like school whippings -- is considered acceptable only for children. It would follow Arkansas practice. The theory on corporal punishment here is that its efficacy is directly correlated to age and size. The younger and smaller the whippee, the more acceptable the use of brutality to teach lessons. (I  know that makes no sense.)

The Ozark mayor's call for an independent investigation of Taser use sounds like a good idea.

This story is circling the globe faster than an Ozark cop can draw a billy club. A British satire site comments:

You need to Taser the child lest they hurt themselves. Prevention is better than cure. Spare the Taser, spoil the child. If you don’t Taser them they grow up to be, well, coppers…

UPDATE: The mother of the 10-year-old, Kelly Hamlert, has been a part-time dispatcher and detention officer in the Franklin County jail for several months, Chief Deputy James Hamilton said. She does not carry a Taser in that job,  Hamilton said, because the sheriff's office has none. "We wish we did, but we can't afford them."


Ozark police officers, who are trained in Taser use, sometimes work at the jail. Taser use by those officers is rare for inmate disturbances, Hamilton said. He could recall only one or two episodes.

Hamilton said he wasn't familiar with all the details of the Ozark child, but said the sheriff's office had received many angry calls. He said the law empowered officers to come to the aid of parents faced with misbehaving juveniles and he could see where Taser use might be justified. "Is it better to give a one- or two-second zap with a Taser than to have to get in a fight and then have that escalate to the next level?" The young age is sensitive, he acknowledged. "But how many 10-year-olds have shot someone or stabbed someone?"

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