Topeka, KS — The facts are not disputed. Jackson County deputy Matthew Honas pulled out his taser and shocked a 12-year-old boy who he had already handcuffed, shackled, and hogtied in the back of his cruiser. Despite these undisputed facts, deputy Honas is still a cop. This is a major problem.
This week, a state law enforcement oversight board reprimanded the sheriff’s deputy for his horrifying act of child abuse. Unfortunately for the citizens of Topeka, however, the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training (KSCPOST) chose not to revoke the law enforcement certification for the abusive deputy.
Honas kept his law enforcement license in spite of the fact that he was found to have used excessive force against a child with autism. According to the KSCPOST, the abuse was captured on the deputy’s in-car camera and the entire attack was unprovoked. The child’s crime… running away from foster care.
“Among other actions, (Honas) tased the child without warning while the child was handcuffed and ‘hog tied,’” the report said.
The incident unfolded on Feb. 23, and according to the report, Honas knew the boy, identified as L.H. in the report, was autistic and had gotten physical with him before hogtying the child. Honas was not wearing a body camera during the interaction, so the only video that exists is what took place inside the deputy’s cruiser and it is damning enough.
According to the report, Honas appeared to hurt the child for no reason as he taunted and threatened him. (emphasis ours)
Respondent used excessive force multiple times throughout his contact with L.H. Respondent struggled with, shoved, elbowed, applied pressure points, carried, pulled, “hog tied,” and ultimately tased L.H. Of particular concern, L.H. was sitting in the patrol car at one point and not actively resisting. His hands were cuffed behind his back and Respondent began to press L.H.’ s jaw pressure points without giving any direction to L.H. to do anything. This appeared to be of a punitive nature, particularly with the dialogue between Respondent and L.H. at the time. Approximately five minutes later, L.H. was still sitting in the patrol vehicle with his feet outside the vehicle when Respondent deployed his taser on L.H. At the time, L.H. was handcuffed behind his back, had ankle shackles on, and had the handcuffs connected to the ankle shackles. L.H. was not a threat to Respondent or other officers.