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Met Police officer cleared of gross misconduct after tasering 10-year-old girl

A Met Police constable has been cleared of gross misconduct after he tasered a 10-year-old girl who was brandishing garden shears.

Pc Jonathan Broadhead fired the weapon at the girl twice within seconds of entering her home in southwest London on 21 January 2021.

He was accused of using force "which was not necessary, reasonable and proportionate" against the girl, referred to as Child A.

Today, the Met Police misconduct panel found the allegations were not proven.

Catherine Elliot, the panel's chairwoman, said: "Having considered the evidence in great detail… the panel has concluded that Pc Broadhead's use of Taser on Child A was necessary, reasonable and proportionate in all the circumstances. The allegations are therefore not proved."

The facts of the case were not disputed, but Pc Broadhead argued the "Taser was the best option I had" after the girl "armed" herself with the shears on his arrival, posing a risk to him and others in the house.

Body-worn footage played during the hearing showed how Pc Broadhead said "put it down now" three times, referring to the shears, and "police officer, Taser" before tasering the girl as she tried to go upstairs.

The girl's mother had called 999 when the child threatened her with a hammer and the shears.

Following the panel's conclusion, Mel Palmer, regional director at the Independent Office for Police Conduct, said: "Following our investigation, it was our view that an independent disciplinary panel could - based on the evidence - find that the officer had committed gross misconduct by breaching the standard of professional behaviour for use of force.

"But only a disciplinary panel - led by an independent legally-qualified chair - can decide if the gross misconduct allegation is proven and the panel has now decided that the officer's use of force was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

"We did find the officers provided adequate aftercare to the child by calling paramedics to remove the Taser barbs, performing a partial search and keeping her in handcuffs. This meant that the barbs were not moved, which may have caused her further pain."