The incident happened in the Nestor area when a police officer was chasing a parolee who ran into a Home Depot parking lot, where the child was standing with her parents. One barb from the Taser hit the escapee while the other hit the little girl, when an officer fired in an attempt to stop the parolee from fleeing. The suspect was arrested for parole violation, resisting arrest and being under the influence of drugs.
Police Chases Often Involve The Innocent
Innocent men, women, and children are often injured in accidents precipitated by police chases. In fact, although records are not kept of the exact number of innocent people hurt or killed by police trying to apprehend criminals, some groups such as Pursuit Safety estimate that one-third of the people killed in police chases are in fact innocent victims rather than criminals.
One problem with tabulating the exact number of innocent people involved in police-related accidents is that the Department of Justice and local police departments do not keep records of such events to be used for statistical models. Many of these deaths and injuries are designated as car accidents or other types of mishaps rather than being labeled as “police-related” injuries.
Was The Little Girl Really Hurt?
The little girl’s physical injuries in this case were thankfully very minor. The police officer apparently had the presence of mind to avoid pulling the Taser’s switch and sending thousands of volts coursing into the little girl’s body, a situation which could quickly have turned deadly for the tiny victim.
Although the physical injuries to the girl were minor, the psychological damage that may have incurred may not be commensurate with the wounds. Even small wounds can have a big impact on a child’s emotional health, especially when the injury is inflicted by a police officer—someone a child should be able to trust.
Liability Issues in this Case
If the toddler did indeed suffer pain, fear, and psychological damage, there may be a case for her parents to make a claim against the police department. A Sacramento personal injury lawyer can help the parents determine if such a claim would be worth pursuing.