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Police Use Taser to Subdue 12-Year-Old Autistic Boy

Police in the California town of Hawthorne have launched a misconduct investigation after an officer struck a 12-year-old autistic boy with a 50,000-volt stun gun at a city public school.

According to Hawthorne police reports, Officer Vincent Arias was summoned to a local middle school after the 12-year-old autistic boy,? who is estimated to be no more than 150 pounds, threatened to kill his teachers and repeatedly struck a school security guard. Arias arrived on the scene and attempted to restrain the boy but was kicked repeatedly before the boy turned and began running towards an area of the school that contained other students. It's at this point that Arias fired and struck the boy with his Taser.

"The police did what they thought they needed to do," said Donald Carrington, superintendent of the Hawthorne Unified School District, in a Los Angeles Times interview.

While the boy was apparently unhurt, his parents recently filed an official complaint with the police department, claiming that the use of the stun gun on a child amounted to an unnecessary use of? force.

The incident is the latest in a long string of controversial uses of Tasers by police, who are struggling to determine when a situation warrants the use of a stun gun.



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