A Georgia police chief is defending his officers’ choice to make use of a Taser to subdue an 87-year-old girl who, he stated, disobeyed their instructions to drop a knife.
Nonetheless, relations stated that Martha Al-Bishara was merely reducing dandelions with a kitchen knife, and that the officers ought to have been extra affected person.
Chatsworth Police Chief Josh Etheridge stated he and two different officer on the scene used the “lowest use of power” they might when coping with the girl who wouldn’t comply.
“An 87-year-old girl with a knife nonetheless has the power to harm an officer,” he stated. “For my part, it was the bottom use of power we might have used to easily cease that menace on the time.”
Police acquired a 911 name on Friday from an worker of an area Boys and Ladies Membership who reported a girl with a knife was strolling outdoors and wouldn’t go away.
“She’s outdated so she will’t get round too effectively, however…” the worker stated on the 911 recording. “Seems like she’s strolling round searching for one thing, like, vegetation to chop down or one thing. There is a bag, too.”
Police stated they discovered Al-Bishara and, after she refused to drop the knife, they deployed the stun gun.
Etheridge stated he even tried to speak along with her by taking his personal pocket knife and throwing it on the bottom.
Al-Bishara was charged with felony trespass and obstructing an officer and launched from jail in Murray County later that day.
However Al-Bishara’s family stated the officers ought to have proven extra endurance.
“If three cops could not deal with an 87-year-old girl, you would possibly need to rethink hanging up your badge,” stated Solomon Douhne, the girl’s great-nephew.
Etheridge stated the police division was conducting an inside use-of-force assessment.
The Related Press contributed to this report.