What do you think of this? 8 year old pepper-sprayed by cops.

Eight year old Aiden Elliot pepper-sprayed by cops as he brandishes wood trim he tore off of his school classroom at them. This was apparently the third time cops had come out for his temper tantrums.

His grandpa says he had a trauma that has caused this behaviour.

Another story with more details on the incident.

Were the police justified in pepper-spraying an eight year old boy?

The grandfather says there is some trauma to account for the boy’s behavior, but he won’t say what, because it’s “under investigation”. The child has had police called on him twice before. He was trying to break into a barricaded office where teachers had taken other students when he became violent. He faced off with the police holding a weapon and taunted them. If he’d been an adult, a pepper spraying would have been the least of his worries.

The whole point of pepper spray is that it’s non-lethal, and it puts an end to violent conflicts without permanently damaging anyone. The police handled this with admirable restraint.

There are a few possibilities as to what is going on with this kid:
[li]the trauma the grandfather referred to was physical and resulted in brain damage, causing the child to launch into violent tirades without control.[/li][li]the trauma the grandfather referred to was psychological and/or sexual, and the child is seriously mentally ill as a result.[/li][li]there was no trauma, but the child has a severe emotional, physical, or psychiatric disturbance that urgently needs to be addressed.[/li][/ul]

Mom and Grandpa blaming the police is not going to help this kid. He needs a medical evaluation - an MRI or CAT scan of the brain, possibly a SPECT scan, an endocrinology workup, as well as therapy and medication to address his symptoms. He also needs to be pulled out of any classroom short of one with highly trained special ed teachers who can handle his violent outbursts.

The child is obviously very disturbed. Kids can wig out, but I’ve never heard of an eight-year-old who merited THREE visits by the cops and was throwing televisions and chairs.

In this case, I can see why the police felt it was the safest course of action for everyone involved, but the important thing is this kid needs some help.

Shoulda tasered the little demon. 8 year olds aren’t human, anyway.

Yes, totally justified. The police should not be expected to expose themselves to additional risk of injury when trying to subdue an uncooperative subject in order to spare the subject some discomfort.

In this case, pepper spray was probably the option that posed the least risk of injury to the kid anyway.

Sounds like the mother, after initially saying that the kid deserved it, is now rather incompetently angling for a lawsuit.

I think pepper spray would be better than rushing a boy holding a sharp stick - the officers or the child would be hurt.

From the article, he was threatening to hurt the other students!

*There were eight students with Aidan in the classroom, Reeves said, and teachers removed them after he became violent. They barricaded themselves in an office, as he tried to bust in, Davis said.

Aidan was swearing and shouting expletives at his teachers and threatening them, Davis said. He taunted police when they arrived.

“I wanted to make something sharp, like if they came out, `cause I was so mad at them,” the boy said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I was going to try to whack them with it.” *

Yikes. This kid needs something.

Mom saying, “They treated him like a common criminal.” 1, not really - a common criminal stands a good chance of getting shot to death when they come at police officers with a weapon, and 2, he was acting like one! He is only eight years old, but so were the rest of the kids in the class that he endangered.

Does anyone remember an Oprah episode a couple of months back with the sociopathic child who was a real danger to kill his family members? That was a disturbing episode.

God, I love the smell of vomit, sawdust, and pepperspray in the morning.

Pepper spray seems justified, tasering i would be iffy on.

As usual the Family Circus has already covered this topic

What would they prefer? That the cops jump him?

Common criminal? Yes, because he IS one.

Totally justified.

Yeah, if the cops had to jump him, he would have likely suffered physical injury, and they would have risked the same.

I mean, what the fuck do some people think? That the cops can just wave their finger at him, say “Now now, settle down Junior!” and take the stick out of his hand while he stands there calmly saying “Jimminy! I’m sure sorry Mr. Police Officer! I’ll sure behave myself in the future!”

As I once said to a kid that age who was being extremely stupid around me, a complete stranger; “Kid, my cat is going to have a longer life than you”.

When I first saw the headline, I was appalled, because I thought someone had pepper-sprayed the kid for a normal temper tantrum.

Nope. Attacking and threatening people and coming after them with a weapon, even if you’re only 8, is an entirely different level of “out of control” and pepper spray was justified. The main thing once it got to that point was to get the situation in hand again before he seriously hurt someone. There was no reasoning with him.

This kid needs psychiatric help.

I disagree. The police absolutely should be expected to expose themselves to some degree of danger to protect the public, even if the public is a disturbed eight-year-old. If you wanted them to not expose themselves to injury, they shouldn’t even answer calls.

If someone doesn’t want to take on a few extra risks, police work is not the line of work for them.

In this case, however, I feel pepper spray might have been the safest course of action for everyone, including the child. Pepper spray hurts but it causes no lasting damage. They successfully defused the situation with what is really not a great deal of force, handled it professionally afterwards, and nobody really got hurt. It sounds like good police work to me.

Totally justified.

Spray him again! And get the Mom as well!

As a mom of an almost 8 year old with behaviour problems (related to ADHD, which we are working on with a variety of methods and just based on having had the cops called 3 times is not as bad off as this one)… I’d say justified.

Putting myself in her shoes:

My son has done this, or something very similar, and had the cops called THREE times… I’d be seeking some serious help for my son, up to and including an in-hospital program after the first time and be insisting on it after the second (and if he acts like this in school how is he at home??). If he’s seeing someone regarding this trauma, I’d be asking for any and all options available to me. I’d also be worried about CPS and what they are thinking/doing. I’d be worried about them long before this actually.

He is waving something around which would potentially be a weapon and injure someone quite badly easily INCLUDING himself if someone grabs him wrong.

They diffused the situation without giving him more than some short lived pain. They are adults, he is a child even if a stocky one. If he were small you’d grab him and sit on the floor and hold him so he can’t do anything until he calms down, much harder to do with an 8 year old child.

I wouldn’t be happy that this had happened, far from it, but how much less happy would I have been had they tackled him and he landed wrong on the stick or heck just landed wrong and got something broken.

I think the reason the police get called is to avoid staff who try to restrain him themselves having a bullshit charge of assault lodged against them. Which is a stupid state of affairs.

If the cops thought pepper spray was the thing to use, that’s fine by me. Obviously little [del]Damien[/del]Aidan deserved it. But two cops at most can’t handle an 8-year-old hellion just by grabbing him without anybody getting injured? Even if he does have a sharp stick?

I dunno; I’d just assume that the cops made a judgement call and did the best for the situation. Come to think of it, I don’t know if cops are trained in restraining/disarming kids. I suppose they should be these days.

Quite probably rowrrbazzle. Wouldn’t surprise me in this day and age.

I think that pepper spray probably was the safest option for everyone in this situation. The kid might be small, but he was out of control. The officers could have used pure physical force against him, but I think that the chances of the kid actually sustaining an injury would have been greater. As it is, he experienced some pain, but no lasting injury. And that’s the whole POINT of pepper spray.