10-year-old boy tasered for refusing to clean police officer's car

Salon: "According to the complaint, [New Mexico police officer Chris] Webb shot his Taser at the child after he said he did not want to join fellow classmates in cleaning the officer's patrol car. Courthouse News reported: Defendant Webb responded by pointing his Taser at R.D. and saying, 'Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.' ... [H]e sent 50,000 volts of electricity into the child's chest on the playground. The young boy blacked out and has, according to his legal representative, been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder ever since."


  1. At least Officer Webb was honest. This IS what happens if you don’t immediately obey an order given by a cop. The cop can do anything he likes to you, up to and including murdering you, and he will likely get a three day suspension for it.

    Those kids learned a valuable lesson on career day. Many cops are brutal thugs with the full force of the law behind them, and the rest of the cops are enablers for those thugs. You won’t find ONE cop speaking out against this. Remember that the next time someone argues ‘that was a rare bad cop, the rest are good.’. 

    Most of those kids have learned to stay as far from cops as possible. A couple of them have learned that those urges they feel to hurt others will find a great outlet on the police force.

    When the bullshit starts the kids will also learn that all of the authority figures they have relied on, from the school principle to the local mayor, are not to be trusted.

    All in all a good 20 years of experience learned in just one day.

    1. This. If someone is telling you what to do and threatening to harm you if you don’t do it, chances are it isn’t in your best interests to comply. Kind of makes you think about our “democratically elected” government, doesn’t it?

    2.  You’re quite correct. In many respects, police forces are indistinguishable from criminal gangs, not the least of which is the anti-snitch culture. Our best outcome is to pay them their protection money and hope they don’t notice us, and hey, sometimes they actually come through for the people who are paying for them. Of course, sometimes they kill the people who call for help.

      1. There ARE cops who speak out against this. There are “Good Apples”. Unfortunately, they are far, far too rare – after all, department heads don’t want “trouble-makers”, their brothers-in-arms don’t like “snitches”, and you can bet all the protections a police officer gets will magically fall away if they dare to rock the boat.

        There are good apples, but they are outnumbered by the bad apples and the ‘decent cops’ that enable them by far, and constantly under the pressure of that corrupting influence. Like in politics, idealists probably don’t last long in the force…

  2. This sort of thing has a long history.  I mean, it’s practically a western cliche where the local law enforcement decide to inspire some poor sap who doesn’t want to dance for them, by shooting their guns at his feet. 

    What?  You say that it’s the BAD GUYS who do that sort of thing?

    Interesting, that.

    1. Also this! Don’t point a gun at anything you don’t want dead. Don’t point a taser at anything you don’t want zapped with high voltage. This was about as much an accident as Todd Akin’s comments about rape were him “mis-speaking”

      1.  Don’t point a Taser at anything you don’t want dead.

        Tasers were designed to be “less lethal” than firearms.  Police weren’t supposed to use them in any situation that they wouldn’t opt to use their guns, if the taser were not available.

    2. Professionals don’t accidentally fire their weapons. If he’s not a professional, then he shouldn’t be employed as one.

        1. I think he should be subjected to high voltage himself. Maybe on some kind of chair, to keep him from falling.

  3. The list of ‘…what happens to people who do not listen to the police.’ is not much different from the list of ‘…what happens to people who do listen to the police.’ http://youtu.be/7rWtDMPaRD8

  4. “Accidentally discharged”

    This is who cops shouldn’t have guns – “Accidentally discharge” one of those, and you kill someone.

    This spanner needs to be on desk duty for the rest of his life!

      1. That’s what would be right.  Never being entrusted with a weapon again is a bit more likely, though not much.  it’s very unlikely that he will have any significant consequences.

  5. And remember folks, just keep repeating to yourself:  It’s just one bad apple!  It’s just one bad apple!  It’s just one bad apple…

  6. That police man should be tased weekly as a reminder of what it feels like.  Anyone who carries a taser should be tased, just so they know.  Tasing a child is unforgivable.  Tasers are just a bad idea.  I once saw cops use one twice on somebody in front of my house.  It was not necessary and was truly horrible to even watch.

  7. I hope the courts award a crippling economic message to the City which stupidly employs such a cretin.  However, don’t look for that to happen. The total militarization of our entire police force, nationwide, is nearly complete.  You know you’ve seen it.  Full riot gear for everything.  Shoot first, don’t permit questions to be asked later.  Hundreds of unprosecuted acts of brutality and unpunished acts of manslaughter occur every year by police who have been given the impression they are above all law.  

    When was the last time an unarmed person, possibly homeless, or as has happened several times recently, some crazy naked and completely weaponless guy was gunned down in a hail of bullets, after some cop screamed unintelligible and unreasonable orders at him?  Sound familiar? Happen in your town? 

    It’s our fault.  We did this. We will not be able to undo this at anytime in the foreseeable future.  Get used to this kind of horrifying story and much worse from now on!

    1. Because then the cops would retaliate against dozens or even hundreds of random, innocent people.  That’s how people in power prevent uprisings, by making it clear that if one protected member is touched then it will come back a hundred fold.

  8. Why were the students washing a police car in the first place? Was licking the officer’s boots clean considered too on-the-nose? School officials should be ashamed of this bit of theater, even if the cop hadn’t shot anyone. 

  9. I hope the settlement is so large the town can’t afford half this police department. Police departments need to get the picture that if you abuse people, you go to jail, you cover for abusers and don’t arrest them and prosecute them harsher than a normal citizen, you risk your job due to budget cutbacks due to very large settlements.

  10. Why do we have to take police presence for granted? It’s time to cut back on their authority. It’s not like they’ve ever recovered any items stolen from my house. I have had to pay court fines for traffic violations. And they do a good job of imprisoning drug users which we pay for with tax dollars. But nothing that really helps the community. Police are more like the most highly organized mafia in the U.S. Very effective at extracting money from the citizens for various (harmless offenses). Definitely more harm than good.

  11. Start drug testing cops: pre-hire, post-incident, random. Get these steroid-and-speed abusing freaks ID’d and off the force. For Christ’s sake, bus drivers are tested, dog catchers are tested, flight attendants are tested. But not gun and taser-carrying cops? 

  12. I’m a bit disappointed that many of the more insightful and moderate comments from this thread were illegitimately flagged for removal.  If you disagree, fine, but please explain your point of view rather than acting like a child throwing a hissy fit, Anonymous Person.  

    1. How exactly does one disagree with a comment that says, in essence, ‘I don’t believe this story because it doesn’t fit my preconceived notions’? ‘This must be fake’ comments go in the same bin with ‘First world problems’ and ‘He must have too much time on his hands’.

  13. So what happens if a citizen points a weapon at a police officer and “accidentally” discharges it?

    Oh right, 10 or 20 to life. And I must make a correction – the weapon doesn’t always need to be discharged.

    1. Cops have difficult jobs, so if they happen to accidentally shoot someone or get frustrated and beat someone to death or something like that, it’s not “ok” but it’s not the same as if you or I did that sort of thing to a cop because, of course, we’re not cops – our jobs aren’t difficult like theirs.  It’s a real PITA not blowing away people all the time and always covering for your cop buddies that do happen to sorta break the law.  

      Of course it’s insensitive, thoughtless comments like these just piss them off even more and illustrate how the citizenry doesn’t understand them and thus some steam will have to be blown off and some kid or a homeless guy or pregnant person or mentally ill dude or just some completely random person whatever will have to get a beatdown tomorrow but that’s the thin blue line for ya.

  14.  Intent or not. 
    According to this officer he accidentally loaded the thing, accidentally took the safety off and then accidentally pulled the trigger while he accidentally aimed it not at the ground while surrounded by shittons of kids. 

    He is accidentally a cop. 

  15. According to that report he unconsciously reloaded his weapon and managed to draw the weapon in such a way that it was pointed at a child and accidentally discharged. 

    He then advised Officer Gomez to control the remaining students while he dealt with “Ryan” which should be redacted IMO.

    Instead of seeking immediate medical attention, he took the boy into a restroom, where a teacher came across them, only then did he seek medical attention for Ryan. 

    He then was presented with the opportunity to present his version of events to administrators, teachers and lastly a parent of Ryan, from whom he solicited or received a verdict, according to him. He was also good enough to note that seeking medical attention after something like that is advisable, despite not doing so himself.

    He then tried and failed to follow reporting procedure, but did succeed in contacting an officer of equal rank, who passed along the information to the superiors that he somehow could not reach.

    After being advised by an uninvolved officer of Webb’s version of events, management was dispatched to the school in the form of Lt. Mydock.

    Mydock arrived shortly after alerting Webb he was enroute, they proceeded to the school administration where they asked if they could have the parents contact information, they were refused but their information was put forward to the parent that Webb had encountered earlier, by the school administrator who had just been talked to by Mydock and Webb. 

    He doesn’t recall pulling the trigger (let alone loading the weapon) but notes that cartridges do discharge seemingly without cause, because it happened to him once. However, he did acknowledge pulling the trigger according to Mydock according to Mydock’s complaint form, or Mydock concluded Webb pulled the trigger.

     ( 1st page and continuation of the above report )
    Picture of children with squad cars, 

    There is so much fail here. The complaint in it’s entirety is available by counting up the jpg’s

    The complaint is generous in stating that the officer took the child to the principle instead of seeking medical attention, the officer’s own report states he did neither, but took the child to a lavatory alone without his partner.

    So much fail.

    If it isn’t malevolent, the negligence, and attempt to avoid responsibility esp. not seeking medical attention is such that it doesn’t matter whether he shot the kid on purpose or not, since his followup was to endanger the child further.

    Now you know that the officer at every turn was able to present his version to all authorities with the child present, after having been alone with the child immediately after the incident. Except for his own authorities, his superiors, for that he initially used a proxy.

    I can’t imagine why it took so long, can you? j/k, that’s why, he controlled it until he couldn’t anymore. He accessed everyone that may have told the world before anyone else, including the child, who would have had to contradict him then and there in front of the good cop, a 10 year-old that was just shot and entirely in his control immediately after.

  16. Be suspicious, but don’t be so because of the lack of national media attention to this. There is a lot that doesn’t make it into the news because it does not fit the narrative that media corporations want to put out there. For example, does anyone recall the MLK bomb attempt during a parade this year? That certainly didn’t get a lot of air time.

  17. I take it that you are unfamiliar with the story about how the Oakland chief of police “accidentally” left his brutality-and-abuse-reporting “spam filter” on for over six months.

  18.  As a former APS student, I find the above article very likely. Our campus enforcer would regularly ‘tune up’ kids who were smoking just off-campus during lunch breaks. Sandia HS, for reference.

  19. Okay, I hadn’t heard of SHS school students being regularly tazed during lunch breaks.  I’m sorry to hear that, and am outraged.  But this is an elementary school – that’s the part of this story that makes it ridiculous.  It sounds like incompetence on the part of the cop, but not a deliberate “tune up” of a fourth grader.

    I went to HS at WMHS, but we had rent-a-cops there, not police.  They tended to be more verbally abusive than actually violent.

  20. Wait, does “tune up” mean taze? You had a high school campus enforcer (enforcer? wtf?) who would “regularly taze” kids?

    If so, is this man in prison, and if not why not?

  21.  He’s not, because children aren’t citizens and have no civil rights against adults, while cops are super-citizens allowed to violate even adults civil rights. Pile on that teenagers are constantly vilified, and what do you expect?

  22.   Yes, what FD said. I believe his name was Alex Chavez, and a real meathead. He’d throw kids into fences, or cuff ’em and leave them face-down in the dirt while bawling them out. He’d steal your smokes or your pot. He tried getting me into trouble for carrying “Meth” in my backpack, even though that was my Ritalin prescription. (Oh yeah, remember that? EVERYONE was prescribed Ritalin back in the 90s!)

  23. According to the complaint it was Webb’s idea, independently, I doubt the police force would assume that liability too, but the officer is by more than this account a complete wash.

  24.  We had an incident in Polk County, IA last year where a county sheriffs deputy had his car at some community event in a park on a weekend and was letting the kids get in and out of it and crawl around on and in it. One kid grabbed the trigger of an unsecured, loaded shotgun and pulled it and fired the gun, hitting a couple of people — none of them too seriously as it turned out. That part of this story sounds totally plausible to me.

  25. It was the rent-a-cop who was actually nice. “Hey guys, can you please not flick cigarette butts into the weeds? If they catch on fire, I’d have to file a report, and then you wouldn’t get to cut classes and hang out under the bridge.” Damn me for not remembering his name, but he was about the only decent person in charge around there. It got so bad that we wouldn’t bother reporting to our own teachers any longer, we’d just go straight to this guy whenever we needed adult intervention.

    Ugh. Same year I tried to commit suicide. Sandia wasn’t as bad as Valley or Del Norte, but it sure wasn’t great. Best decision of my life was dropping out at 16 and getting my GED.

  26. The problem, time and time and time again, is that all these “good apples” that you’re referring to never ever stand up to their fellow officers. There’s an extremely strong tradition of “brotherhood” in the police that makes telling on your partner far worse than the original crime.

    This is why people don’t trust the police. Even if the majority wouldn’t do something like this, the majority would just put a guy like this on three-day suspension instead of firing him.

  27. 25 weeks, and the timing of the lawsuit is irrelevant.  Is it not valid to wonder how such a horrifying, sensational, black-and-white, witnessed-by-many incident could take so long to be reported on?  Shouldn’t skepticism be the default position in such a low-information situation?

  28. “These sorts of irrational sureties are exactly the impulses that cause so many cops to behave so badly and so abuse their power.”


    Yeah because if someone accuses me of being violent I will beat the shit out of them. That’s why.

    You don’t make any sense. Are you saying that cops abuse their power because people are afraid they will abuse their power? Or because people assume they will abuse their power? Or because people believe it when they hear that cops abuse their power?

    None of these are excuses for abuse of power.
    Society gives cops a monopoly on the legal use of force in return for protecting us. Anything else is wrong. No excuses.If any cops believe their feeling have been hurt to the extent they will be abusing their power in retaliation they should quit or be fired.

    Tell that to your sergeant the next time he tells you to do a 250 on an innocent pedestrian.

  29. Witnessed by children only, who were then left alone in the company of the officers partner while the partner took the ?blacked-out? child to the lavatory, alone. 

    Then reported on by the officers account by the officer himself to the school administrators, parents and teachers. 

    What odds do you give any of these, with the officer present and having provided his account, to ask lil Ryan “Ryan, is that what happened? Tell me what you saw happen, you have nothing to fear despite being tazed earlier, by this man right here who has a gun.”?

    Do you think the parent wasn’t potentially stymied in their own mind for having accepted the officer’s account from the beginning, when they were happy to still have a son and intent on getting him proper medical evaluation, not dealing with the officer in the room, the only armed and highest authority present, who needed to provide the account instead of facilitating that medical evaluation?

    When the teacher found the boy, recently blacked out if conscious, alone with the officer in the bathroom, when that might normally be a situation to contact the authorities about, who would they call? With the officer right there?

    You can be skeptical, but my skepticism of the officer is far better grounded in his account than it is anywhere else.

  30. You mean that they use the same system year to year in the district courts? Heh, I withdraw my snark.

    Note that the foreclosure unrelated to the plaintiff is 2011, while the civil suit re this post is 2012.

    Interesting. I hadn’t heard of any foreclosures in the US lately, at least no questionable ones. Probably the same Rachel Higgins which means she is just a gold digger desperate enough to sue a cop that shoots people he disagrees with. Dammit. Snark withdrawn again.

    Sorry, I totally get your point that someone with a foreclosure in 2009 could have ulterior motives if they were lucky enough to have a cop taze their 10 year old. DAMMIT! sorry, did it again. I keep seeing how in the past people view that kind of unrelated correlation, call me cynic.

  31. I love that guy. No matter how much you feel like a loser, watching that video will make you feel like you’re not at the bottom of the barrel.

  32. My point was a mistake. I had thought the case numbers matched because google did its magic typo-replacement thing.

  33. These guys sure have a lot of accidents. I would hope that officers of the “peace” would be a bit less accident-prone.

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