Former police captain weighs in on use of Taser on Illinois teen with Technology - MilectoFormer police captain weighs in on use of Taser on Illinois teen with Technology - Milecto

One of the teens, Abby and Libby, was dropped off by a family member at a hiking trail near their home town of Delphi, which is about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis, on February 13, 2017. It was claimed that they were missing that night because they didn’t show up at the agreed upon meeting place to be picked up. The next day, their dead bodies were found in a rough, heavily wooded area close to the path.

Allen was worked at a shop in Delphi, a town of about 3,000 people, and the terrible events have had a long effect on the town. The story has gotten a lot of interest in the state and across the country.

In December 2022, Special Judge Fran Gull put out a “gag order” that said lawyers, police officers, court staff, the doctor, and family members of the girls couldn’t say anything about the case in public, not even on social media. The prosecutors asked for the order because the case was getting a lot of attention from the media. A judge from Carroll County stepped down from handling the case, so Gull took over as the special judge.

A police officer’s body cam caught the whole thing, and you can hear another officer saying that he didn’t think the kid was the person they were looking for.

After receiving medical attention for his wounds, the teenager was let go. An inquiry is underway on the event.

Linsey Davis of News Live talked to Sonia Pruitt on Wednesday. Pruitt is the founder of Black Police Experience, a group that wants to change the way police work, and she is also a former captain from the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department.

As you check out that video, could you take us through your thoughts, breaking it down step by step?

She was very upset about how young Mr. Thompson and his family felt they were treated by Sonia Pruitt. Even though she understood that the police were reacting to a call about people with guns, she raised a serious worry. Pruitt stressed that less deadly weapons, like Tasers, are not always non-lethal. He gave the example of about 500 fatal events that happened because of Taser use between 2010 and 2021.

In this case, a young man with autism was involved, and she asked the police if they knew about his condition. This made her think about the police department’s rules on using Tasers and how they train officers to use them. She talked about how there aren’t any uniform rules for all police departments in Illinois, so each can make their own rules and train their officers in different ways. She said that this could lead to unfair treatment of different groups.

Take a moment to picture yourself as this cop. What should they do if they were sure that this person looked a lot like one of the suspects they were looking for? This is especially true when you tell someone not to move but they do anyway.

Here’s the thing: I don’t like questioning choices that have already been made, especially when a cop is dealing with a dangerous person who is armed. Everything is tight and making everyone more anxious, including the accused and the police. But what worries me about this case is a different point of view. When the police approached young Mr. Thompson and shocked him with a Taser in his own garden, one of them said, “I don’t think this is him.”

When did they realise they were after the wrong person? That’s my question. We don’t have the body cam tape from before the meeting with Mr. Thompson, but an officer seems to have named him as a suspect in the police report. We’re not getting a lot of important information.

This officer’s partner said, “We may have the wrong guy.” That particular time, what do you think would be the best thing to do?

Alright, here’s the deal. We’re in the dark about the specific policies and training this officer might have been following, so it’s tricky to pass judgment on their actions. The issue, though, lies in the lack of trust within the community. Now, whether Mr. Thompson should have run or not is uncertain. We don’t know what triggered that reaction, but it’s no secret that in certain communities, especially the Black community, there’s a deep-rooted fear when it comes to encounters with the police. People get nervous and scared, prompting them to run. The police need to take this into account, even if it’s a situation where someone is reported to have a weapon. Safety is crucial, I get that, but well before we end up with cases like Mr. Thompson getting tased, there should be more dialogue and proactive steps addressing the distrust between the community and the police.


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