Police, Don't Taser Child Over Mom's Traffic Tickets!

  • by: Lynn Hamilton
  • target: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Twelve-year-old Dejamon Baker definitely paid for the sins of her mother when police tasered her in a Victoria's Secret store. In their hot pursuit of Charlene Bratton for unpaid traffic violations, St. Louis Police followed her into the store, arrested her, and, in the process tasered her young daughter Dejamon twice, leaving wounds.

Dejamon admits to crying and a little back-talk, while police claim that she was interfering with the arrest. The police department denies any wrongdoing. Apparently, trained police cannot be expected to subdue a twelve year old girl without resorting violence. 

This is obviously an argument for better police training and possibly better recruiting strategies. People who can't make an arrest of an unarmed mother in a retail store without brandishing tasers may not be the best candidates for a law enforcement career. Tell the St. Louis Police to launch a full investigation of this incident!

We the undersigned think you need not taser twelve year olds without a lot more provocation than you got from Dejamon Baker.

Dejamon's mother, Charlene Bratton, may have had some unpaid traffic tickets, but this is not an offense that merits police force, much less brutal force. Bratton is not a violent criminal, and weapons should not have been deployed at any point during her arrest. Your officers should have anticipated resistance from the child and been prepared for that eventuality. It's perfectly natural for a young girl to be upset when she sees her mother being manhandled. It's perfectly natural for her to want to intervene as well. However, this, too, is not a case for weapons.

This looks like a rather serious case of police brutality, and your denials of wrong doing do not help create any confidence in your abilities to act in the best interests of the public at large. Please launch a full scale investigation and consider how police officers can be better trained and recruited.

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