A resource officer in Florida has come under fire for using a stun gun to break up a fight between two students at an Orange County middle school Monday, prompting the police to undertake an investigation into the incident.
During the fight, which occurred between two students at Wolf Lake Middle School in Apopka, Florida, a resource officer on duty used a Taser on one of the combatants, shocking him in the upper thigh, according to WFTV-TV. No video footage of the incident was captured, although the officer in question contends that he administered the Taser only after the students refused to respond to his commands to stop fighting. Both students involved the scuffle were arrested.
After the school received some criticism from students and parents regarding the officer’s actions, the school’s principal, Laura Beusse, sent a recording to all the parents in which she stated, “When the students refused to stop fighting after verbal commands by law enforcement, they used a Taser gun to stop the fight.”
Sgt. Edwin Chittenden from the Apopka Police Department defended the officer’s response to the fight.
“I know that that discussion has come up quite a bit. It’s a common and accepted practice throughout the entire state and country,” Chittenden told WFTV.
But many of the students and their parents expressed their concern at the officer’s use of force during the incident. “[The students] are not that strong. You can pull them off of each other,” student Hamid Amzal told WFTV.
“I don’t think at any point, you should have to [use a Taser] on a child. I believe an adult is strong enough,” parent Maleah Reed told WFTV.
Although an investigation is ongoing, the resource officer will remain on active duty at the school for the foreseeable future.
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