Elko Middle school student tased by officer - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

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Elko Middle school student tased by officer

Elko Middle School (Source: NBC12) Elko Middle School (Source: NBC12)
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico Police are reviewing if an officer acted appropriately when he used a taser on a 14-year-old student.

It all unfolded at Elko Middle School. Police say the student's arm was injured after being tased.

Investigators say the teenager got unruly when he was told he was suspended and that the student was asked to leave campus but wouldn't. The officer on scene pulled his taser just before slapping that 14-year-old with criminal charges.

As soon as NBC 12 broke this story online, many began quickly weighing in - some questioning, others defending the officer's actions.

"Since 2001, 500 people have died after being tased in the United States," said Frank Knaack with the ACLU.

He has serious concerns over an officer tasing a local teen.

"We've seen two taser deaths in the Commonwealth recently, and that's with adults, so you're talking about 14-year-old children and other children. That's very scary," he added.

This isn't the first time this has happened in our area. Just last month, a school resource officer pulled his taser on a 14-year-old trying to run out of the office at Powhatan Junior High following an alleged assault on that officer. Late last year, a school fight at Clover Hill High caused an officer to use his stun gun to break it up, the first time Chesterfield police ever had to use a taser at school.

"I've been getting some calls, questions and concerns from citizens," said Councilman Tyrone Nelson.

Elko Middle falls under the part of the county he represents.

"I think there are moments when a taser has its place and police officers using it. It's a judgement call and they make those decisions when they feel certain situations warrant certain reactions…[but] I'm not a fan of tasing kids,” Nelson added.

The 14-year-old Elko student is now charged with resisting arrest, trespassing, and disorderly conduct.

"Law enforcement are just tacking on these charges when kids aren't doing what they ask them to do…In the old days when I was a kid, if I got in trouble, I'd be sent to the principal's office. Nowadays when kids get in trouble, they're sent to the court," Knaack said.

Henrico Schools released the following statement:

"The school division is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment. We're certainly aware of the difficult decisions that must be made to ensure the safety of our schools, and we have the utmost confidence in our law enforcement partners."

Police say the student began screaming loudly in the office, even turning off lights before the cop tased him. Police say the officer involved remains on normal duty as they review if he acted appropriately.

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