A 10-year-old boy was shot with a Taser by a police officer after he refused to wash the cop's car, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Motor Transportation Officer Chris Webb says the Tasing was an accident, and that he believed his weapon was not loaded.
The incident took place during Webb's presentation at "Career Day" at Tularosa New Mexico Intermediate School in May, according to Courthouse News.
The officer reportedly asked a group of boys who wanted to clean his patrol unit, the lawsuit said. The boy, identified as "R.D." in the complaint, said he didn't want to.
Webb allegedly pointed his Taser at the boy and said, "Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police."
According to the suit, he then shot "two barbs into R.D.'s chest." The shock hit the boy with 50,000 volts into his body, causing the boy to temporarily lose consciousness and leaving with scarring from the Taser's barbs, according to the suit.
Rachel Higgins, who is filing the suit as a guardian ad litem on behalf of the boy, says that the incident has given the child post-traumatic stress.
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"The boy, R.D., has woken up in the middle of the night holding his chest, afraid he is never going to wake up again," the complaint states.
The Smoking Gun reports that, in a memo to supervisors, Webb said he had removed the Taser cartridge before showing the device to a group of kids earlier that day, then he forgot that he reloaded it before Tasing the boy.
Higgins calls Webb's actions irresponsible. "No reasonable officer," the complaint states, "confronting a situation where the need for force is at its lowest, on a playground with elementary age children, would have deployed the Taser in so reckless a manner."
Webb was suspended for three days after the incident.
The lawsuit comes just days after a 3-year-old girl was accidentally Tased by a San Diego Police officer who was chasing after an alleged parole violator.
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A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/talal-siad-tasered_n_1828146.html" target="_hplink">Palestinian man from East Jerusalem claims</a> he was repeatedly stunned with a Taser in front of his children at a water park in Tel Aviv this week.
Police say an alleged jaywalker, who was Tasered three times for refusing to show his ID to officers, was handled in a "necessary and appropriate" manner. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly disagrees. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/zikomo-peurifoy-tasered_n_1680333.html" target="_hplink">Zikomo Peurifoy's arrest in Casselberry, Fla.,</a> on July 7 made headlines after video showing him being repeatedly zapped was posted on YouTube.
Malaika Brooks sued the Seattle Police department after she was tasered by police during a traffic stop in 2004 while she was pregnant. The <a href="http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2012/05/supreme_court_wont_hear_appeal.php" target="_hplink"><em>Seattle Weekly</em> reports</a> that a US appeals court ruled that the officer's use of force was excessive, but that Brooks could not sue them because rules on taser use by law enforcement were unclear. The Supreme Court declined to take up the case.
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