The Arkansas Court of Appeals says a police officer was right to handcuff a minor and use his Taser gun on him repeatedly, even though the underage suspect was determined to have not committed any crime before the cops arrived.
The juvenile, named in court reports as simply “R.R.” and described as “a tall young man,” was appealing the charge of refusal to submit to an arrest. The reason, his counsel claimed, was that there were no grounds to arrest him.
The three-judge appeals panel agreed that law enforcement officials did act properly during a recent arrest, even if it meant using arguably excessive force on an underage suspect.
The incident at hand involved an officer who saw R.R “approaching a much smaller woman” at night in a small community. “The officer said that he was concerned for the woman’s safety and approached R.R.,” the court documents claim. Not until later that evening, however, did the police learn that the “much smaller woman” was their suspect’s mother.
The arresting officer eventually determined that night that R.R. was not up to any suspicious activity and the woman wasn’t endangered, but an attempt to apprehend him that evening for questioning went awry. When the matter first went to court, the presiding judges said “an innocent situation” amazingly “just got completely out of hand.”
“’By all accounts’ R.R. was a fine young man, an excellent student and active in sports, clubs and church activities,” the court found. Because R.R. refused to submit to arrest, however, the police, ruled the appeals panel, were justified in apprehending him.
“Before the evening was over, several other officers were summoned to the scene. R.R. and his mother ended up in the backseat of a patrol car, and R.R. was tasered several times, removed from the backseat, thrown to the ground, tasered again, kicked, handcuffed and arrested,” the report reads.
The suspect was sentenced to a day in detention.