Cincinnati police use Taser on 11-year-old girl accused of stealing from supermarket
The police department in Cincinnati will reportedly investigate an officer’s use of a Taser on an 11-year-old girl suspected of shoplifting from a supermarket.
Police say the officer, whose name was not released, used the stun gun to strike the girl as she walked away from the officer on Monday, allegedly ignoring commands, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The officer, who was off-duty at the time and working for the Kroger supermarket as a security guard, has been placed on restricted duty pending an investigation, according to the news outlet, which added that Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman said he would demand answers from the police department.
“There needs to be a complete investigation,” said Smitherman, a member of the Green Party. “It’s hard to understand why an 11-year-old would be tazed.”
Police Chief Eliot Isaac told the Enquirer that his department was “extremely concerned” about the incident, and would be reviewing both the officer’s conduct and the policies related to the use of force on juvenile suspects.
“We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age,” Isaac said. “As a result, we will be taking a very thorough review of our policies as it relates to using force on juveniles as well as the propriety of the officer’s actions.”
Cincinnati police added that department policy states that stun gun usage is directed for “self-defense” purposes or for when a suspect was otherwise “resisting arrest,” and should not be used on children under 7 or anyone over the age of 70.
“Officers should avoid using the Taser on obviously pregnant females and those individuals under the age of 7 or over the age of 70 due to the potential for these individuals to fall when incapacitated by a taser, unless the encounter rises to the level of a deadly force situation,” the policy states.
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