Fort Myers

Florida Teen Tased by FHP Officer

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A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was caught on camera using a taser on a 16-year-old after the teen was confronted by the trooper outside his girlfriend's home in Fort Myers.

The trooper is still patrolling the streets during a review. Dave Thomas, a criminal justice professor, says this is normal.

"In most instances it is," Thomas said. "The only time I see it change is when there's a shooting, and that's when they would pull them out of the rotation."

He said the trooper had the right to enforce state law and didn't have to wait for another agency to respond. But he does take issue with the use of the taser.

The trooper fired one shot that caused the boy to fall, hitting his head on a stone fireplace on the way down.

"Officers oftentimes will use the taser to force compliance. The kid's still not resisting, so there really was no need to tase him a second time," he said. "So the use of the taser the second time was excessive. The first time was excessive, but the second time was just totally uncalled for."

The arrest report says the trooper thought the boy appeared to be a burglar. But Thomas is questioning that thought.

"Was he shaking on door handles? This kid just made a beeline for his girlfriend's house. But was he looking in houses? Was he looking in windows?"

None of those factors are mentioned in the report.

Kris Rodeman says she's grateful her son is still alive.

She hopes parents and kids watch the video -- and handle situations with law enforcement differently.

"Tell your kids to just put their hands up, because it's not worth it. That could've ended really bad. He could've been killed," she said.

The incident is still an active investigation. FHP says they will release their findings when it's over

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