Met officer who Tasered 10-year-old girl twice, cleared of misconduct
A Met Police officer has been cleared of gross misconduct after Tasering a 10-year-old girl twice in quick succession.
PC Jonathan Broadhead did not use “unnecessary and unreasonable force” when he shocked the child after a complaint was filed by her father, an investigation concluded.
Officers were called to a report the girl was armed with gardening shears and a hammer and was threatening to attack her mother at their home in Streatham, south-west London on 21 January 2021.
Child A had grown angry with her mother, Miss A, after she confiscated her mobile phone because of a safeguarding concern about her online activity, the hearing was told.
On arrival, PC Broadhead requested she drops the shears, but as she turned away to walk up a staircase, he fired his Taser at her “twice in quick succession”.
The girl was then handcuffed and arrested for assault before being taken to hospital and treated for “three Taser barbs in her skin”, which had to be removed by paramedics.
An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) panel concluded on Thursday that PC Broadhead had not breached the police standard of professional behaviour for use of force, and his use of Taser was necessary, reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.
IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said: “Following our investigation, it was our view that an independent disciplinary panel could – based on the evidence - find that the officer had committed gross misconduct by breaching the standard of professional behaviour for use of force.
“But only a disciplinary panel – led by an independent legally-qualified chair – can decide if the gross misconduct allegation is proven and the panel has now decided that the officer’s use of force was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.
“We did find the officers provided adequate aftercare to the child by calling paramedics to remove the Taser barbs, performing a partial search and keeping her in handcuffs. This meant that the barbs were not moved, which may have caused her further pain.”
Met Commander Jon Savell said: “This is an extremely rare and unusual case. In the immediate days after the incident, a senior officer visited the address to apologise for the trauma caused to the girl and her family. Although no misconduct has been found, we repeat this apology today.
“The panel found that PC Broadhead did not breach professional standards based on the information known to him at the time and the clear threat presented, and that he had acted in accordance with his training for the safety of all those involved.
“Tasers provide officers with the ability to de-escalate situations and protect others from harm. We welcome scrutiny around the use of Taser and are working hard to engage with communities to involve them in monitoring how we use this tactic.”
Giving evidence, the girl’s mother Miss A said she feared her daughter’s behaviour may have been affected by consuming cannabis edibles, and said she called 999 after she started threatening her with the hammer and shears.
She claimed her daughter hit her with the hammer before police arrived, but said she was a safe distance away from her when officers got there and did not want her to be Tasered.