DW wrote:The elderly woman was reportedly stopped in her tracks by electroshock while trying to cut dandelions. According to a local official, she was carrying a knife.
A US police chief in Georgia has defended an officer's use of a Taser on an 87-year-old woman cutting dandelions near her home.
The incident occurred last week when a worker at a local Boys and Girls Club called 911 after seeing Martha Al-Bishara, who does not speak English, cutting dandelions with a knife on the club's grounds near her home. According to the employee, she refused to leave, US broadcasters CNN and NBC.
Police in Chatsworth responded to the scene where they reportedly ordered her to drop the knife, using hand gestures to show her what they meant. After she failed to comply, police stunned her with a Taser and then handcuffed her.
"It was the lowest use of force we could have used to simply stop that threat at the time," Chatsworth police chief Josh Etheridge told local media.
She was charged with criminal trespass and obstructing an officer.
Al-Bishara's granddaughter, Martha Douhne, told NBC that "she thought she got shot."
"We have never really told her about stun guns or Tasers, and so she doesn't know what that is," she said, adding that her grandmother is having trouble sleeping and is afraid to go outside.
Etheridge insisted the old woman had posed a potential threat that justified the use of the Taser.
"An 87-year-old woman with a knife still has the ability to hurt an officer," Etheridge said.
"We began trying to communicate with her, telling her of course to drop the knife ... We didn't know if she just didn't understand us or was having some type of issue."
He added that officer "used the Taser, rather than using deadly force to stop the situation," he said.
Etheridge said the department would continue to review the situation, and that the officer in question remains on duty.