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Police Tazer, Pepperspray, and Beat Mentally Challenged Teen

  1. Jun 30, 2011 #1
    DAYTON, Ohio (CN) - Dayton police "mistook" a mentally handicapped teenager's speech impediment for "disrespect," so they Tasered, pepper-sprayed and beat him and called for backup from "upward of 20 police officers" after the boy rode his bicycle home to ask his mother for help, the boy's mom says.

    Pamela Ford says her "mentally challenged/handicapped" son Jesse Kersey, 17, was riding his bike near his Dayton home when Officer Willie Hooper stopped him and tried to talk to him.
    The mom says that "Prior to the incident described below, defendant Hooper knew Jesse and was aware that Jesse was mentally challenged/handicapped and a minor child."
    Nonetheless, Ford says, Hooper "apparently took Jesse's speech impediment for disrespect ... [and] began yelling at Jesse and after Jesse attempted to communicate with him[.] Jesse, being a minor and mentally challenged/handicapped, turned and rode his bike back to his home in an attempt to ask his mother, Ford, to help him communicate with defendant Cooper," according to the complaint in Montgomery County Court.
    On the way, the mom says, "A neighbor attempted to communicate with Officer Hooper about Jesse's disabilities and was told to go back into his home, or he would be arrested."...

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/06/29/37770.htm

    When I was 17 I got arrested by one cop with a stern voice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
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  3. Jun 30, 2011 #2

    micromass

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    Despicable... I hope that cop gets fired for what he did.
     
  4. Jun 30, 2011 #3
    I wouldn't be willing to read article with headline ... 'Cops Just Love Those Tasers'
     
  5. Jun 30, 2011 #4

    Hurkyl

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    Does anyone know of a report that explains what happened in the incident?
     
  6. Jun 30, 2011 #5

    Evo

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    I found the local news paper article, but it's not very clear either.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/crime/teen-shot-with-taser-as-police-call-for-backup-784318.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  7. Jun 30, 2011 #6
    I really cannot fault the mom for removing the taser prongs from her child.
     
  8. Jun 30, 2011 #7
    at first, i thought it might be racial, but the pic at infowars is from another incident in Dayton a year prior.
     
  9. Jun 30, 2011 #8

    micromass

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    OK, Evo's link reports a quite different story, so

    holds iff everything went like the OP described.
     
  10. Jul 1, 2011 #9
    The one I posted is more recent and reports the charges against the kid have already been dismissed, which indicates the cop(s) were very quickly assessed to have over-reacted. That "courthouse report" I posted seems to be about the proceedings where the "two lead officers" are being sued. Notice they are being referred to as "Defendant Hooper" and "Defendant Howard".

    Anyway, the problem seems to be that, whenever a suspect is non-compliant, the cops go ballistic.

    (Sometimes they go ballistic if they think it's remotely possible you might be someone who might be non-compliant:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=386760&highlight=night)

    The whole Rodney King thing escalated so fast because he wouldn't lie down. By the end of this incident here, with the teenager, there were 20 cops at the scene, the kid had been tasered and pepper-sprayed and punched.

    The mother says the cop knew the kid, and knew that he was handicapped. If that's true, then I think the kid's non-compliance could have been dealt with in an uneventful, Andy Griffith way, with Andy and Barney going over after lunch to talk first with the Mom, then with the kid, explaining to him the importance of stopping when a cop tells you to, or, alternately, of not speaking disrespectfully to cops, whichever was the actually inciting offense.
     
  11. Jul 1, 2011 #10
    It doesn't say what his handicap is. Does he have Tourette's or something? I don't know how you decide that a handicapped kid running for his mom is deserving of being arrested let alone like that. While I typically stick up for police officers I don't really see anything in the circumstances here that I could possible back up.

    So he's either 16 or 17. I understand that's not a little kid really, he could be dangerous I suppose. If a teen takes off while an officer is talking to him it would be proper procedure to go after him, I get that. Its not as though he hurt anyone or stole anything though. Just follow him to where ever he's going and then continue trying to speak to him. And if he gets away? oh well. It was just a traffic violation, and on a bicycle no less. If the kid "assaulted" the officers it seems quite likely due to the actions of the officers escalating the situation.
     
  12. Jul 1, 2011 #11
    Not really. It says it was dismissed based on the courts findings of "mental incompetence" which likely would have been determined before they ever even went over evidence. I'd imagine a judge would have harsh words for the officers involved but the simple finding technically says nothing of the officers actions.

    And beat with an ASP apparently, which is basically a sort of baton.
     
  13. Jul 1, 2011 #12
  14. Jul 1, 2011 #13

    Pengwuino

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    fool done disrespected the po po.
     
  15. Jul 1, 2011 #14
    Not sure what you're saying, but I didn't mean to imply the charges were dropped because it was determined the police over-reacted, if that's what you're thinking. It's the fact the charges were dropped for "mental incompetence" that makes the cops look so bad, and would cause anyone looking at the incident to assess them as having over-reacted.
     
  16. Jul 1, 2011 #15
    The implication is not something like Tourettes, but garbled speech. My best guess is that, when the cop addressed him, he said something that the cop mistook for "kiss my ***" or some such.
     
  17. Jul 1, 2011 #16

    Hurkyl

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    That's because you're been presented with a "here's why the cop is evil" article, not a "here's what happened that day" article.

    The article could plausibly be a fair treatment of the cop's actions, but it is almost certainly not "the whole truth" of the incident.

    I try to make it a point not to form opinions based on a one-sided description, especially when it's so obviously so.
     
  18. Jul 1, 2011 #17
    Exactly. Everyone should notice it spoon feeds you with the conclusion the cops were out of line, and that the source seems mainly to be the kid's mom.
     
  19. Jul 2, 2011 #18
    I read both articles. Based on the bare facts alleged in both I can not see anything to support the officer's actions. Unless the facts are wrong. I don't care that he may or may not have spoken disrespectfully to an officer and that it may have been a misunderstanding due to mental handicap. That officers chased down a kid on a bicycle and physically accosted him over a traffic violation is sheer inanity.
     
  20. Jul 2, 2011 #19
    Herein lies the problem. What we don't know might make a huge difference. Fictional additional info that would change things: the cop had previously seen the same kid talking in a friendly manner with a known drug dealer, and once saw the drug dealer hand him a small paper bag. In other words, the cop might have suspected the drug dealer was using the kid as a "mule". That's fiction I just invented, but it represents the sort of information that could mitigate our opinion of the cop.
     
  21. Jul 2, 2011 #20
    This is why I put in the last line, "That officers chased down a kid on a bicycle and physically accosted him over a traffic violation is sheer inanity." If these are the true facts (minus my personal opinion) then there isn't much that can alter the acceptability of their actions. It all apparently started over a traffic violation on a bicycle, which is somewhat ironic considering that most traffic laws regarding the operation of a bicycle are for the safety of the cyclist. The progression of events from there is rather drastic and would require quite a bit of extenuating circumstances to explain. Even your fictional scenario would not help the officers as it would likely give the impression that the kid was stopped for a traffic violation specifically for the chance to search him for drugs which would not be legal.

    Like I said, I usually stick up for the police. In threads regarding using pepperspray and tazers on kids I have supported the actions of the officers as quite possibly necessary. I supported the assertion of the officer in the BART shooting of it being an accident (though condemning it as a jail worthy accident). I just can't see anything here to support. Unless some particularly interesting information is missing I would have to say that the officers were in the wrong.
     
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