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California cops sued for firing Taser at teenager's testicles

Published time: October 24, 2013 15:42
A policeman with the Taser X26 model in their holsters (AFP Photo / Jean-Pierre Muller)

A policeman with the Taser X26 model in their holsters (AFP Photo / Jean-Pierre Muller)

A black teenager is suing the city of Richmond, CA after a local police officer reportedly tasered him in the testicles.

Andre Little, who was involved in the altercation at a train station with Officer Kristopher Tong, claims that both his civil rights and state laws were violated.

According to the lawsuit filed, Little said that he was waiting for a train when Tong moved toward him and asked if he was involved with another group of teens, also black, according to the Courthouse News Service. That group had been “previously detained for questioning,” but Little denied that he was associated with them.

Little claims that Tong then told him to move down to another section of the platform. When he refused, Tong and another officer reportedly pulled the teenager down to the ground as Little yelled that they had the wrong guy.

At this point, Little’s complaint states, "Tong then pulled out a Taser and pointed it at [Little's] head.” The teen pushed the Taser away, but then Tong pointed the device at his scrotum, causing Little to shout, "Don't tase me bro! Please don't tase me in the balls! You don't have to do this!"

According to the suit, though, Tong tasered the boy in the scrotum anyway, placed the teen on his stomach, and used the Taser one more time on his back.

U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled that Little did not sufficiently prove that Tong singled the teen out or was motivated by race. She noted the complained failed to describe Little’s position relative to other passengers at the station as well as the group previously detained by the police.

"For instance, the complaint is silent as to whether Little was standing next to the previously detained young men, or whether Little was away from the men and/or among other non-African-Americans who were not questioned by Tong,” Corley wrote.

Still, Corley said that Little will be offered an opportunity to amend his suit in order to clarify the details of the situation.

“If it can be plausibly inferred that Tong approached Little and questioned him about his association with the detained African-American men because Little is also African-American, such racial animus provides the further plausible inference that Tong’s actions occurring in close temporal proximity — ordering Little to move down the platform and the use of force — were also motivated by racial animus,” the judge wrote.