FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The mother of a 15-year-old high school student is questioning whether it was necessary to use a stun gun on her daughter to break up a fight.
The girl’s mother contacted WTVD after the incident. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a school resource officer used the weapon after warning the 15-year-old. It said the stun gun’s prongs were not deployed, and just the shock was used a single time.
However, the teen’s mother says her daughter was shocked three times, which she claims the officer involved confirmed. A photo of the girl’s side shows red marks where the stun gun was used.
Payne said she doesn’t understand how a 95 lbs. could be a threat to a law enforcement officer.
Usually, the Sheriff’s Office will note if the officer felt threatened, and cite that charge. This is not the case with Payne’s daughter. She’s only been cited with simple affray.
Payne said she’s not defending her daughter’s fighting (although, according to her, her daughter was defending herself from a 16-year-old girl.)
WTVD spoke with the school’s principal Wednesday. He said the deputy only used the stun gun once when neither staff members or the resource officer could separate the two fighting students.
“He did not go in with intent of hurting her,” the principal said. “It wasn’t anything we were doing to try and hurt the little girl. He was doing what he needed to do to keep things settled.”
A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said the department does have a policy for stun gun use, which includes the potential imminent danger to the parties involved, a large crowd with the potential to jump in and escalate the situation, and an alternative to lethal force. She said those conditions applied in this situation. She added that all stun gun incidents are investigated.
Not counting this incident, there have been seven reports of stun gun use in Cumberland County schools since Jan 1. In 2012, there were four reports.