Trooper says tasing 11-year-old autistic girl saved her life
ASHLAND, Oregon — The father of an autistic girl who was tased by a trooper in Oregon is calling the action “excessive.”
On Saturday morning, a cab driver spotted the 11-year-old girl walking along the freeway. She was naked.
“You can just tell you’re not dealing with a regular person that’s either on drugs or anything else,” Hampson said.
Troopers didn’t realize she was only 11-years old when they found her.
“She’s kind of you know, husky,” her father explained.
Hampson believes this is why his pre-teen daughter was mistaken for a woman, but he questions why an Oregon State police trooper chose to tase her.
“It’s a little overused. It was not necessary. There wasn’t any threat to the officers. And from the witness’ report, it didn’t seem like she was an immediate threat.”
But the Oregon State Patrol says tasing her most likely saved her life.
The trooper saw the girl in danger, running on the interstate across both lanes of the freeway, the Highway Patrol said.
O.S.P says the trooper was not aware of the girl’s diagnosis — and was under the impression she was older.
“This was not your normal 11-year-old. And the fact that she was 11 shocked me when we found out her actual age,” said the officer.
O.S.P. says based on the circumstances, that it was 4:00 a.m., on an interstate, tasing her was the appropriate response.
“Ultimately, we want to use the least amount of force necessary. So based on that she takes what she has to deal with and has to make a split-second decision. And the fact that the individual was running into lanes of traffic on I-5, she felt it was best for everybody,” an O.S.P spokesperson said.