CINCINNATI (WLWT) – An 11-year-old girl who was suspected of stealing food from a Cincinnati supermarket was tased by an off-duty police officer.
According to WLWT, the girl, who allegedly stole food items from a Kroger store, was shocked with a Taser after she allegedly ignored an office and started to walk away.
The fourth-grader said that she did not try to fight the officer and that she was not aggressive toward him.
The officer who stunned the child was identified as Kevin Brown, 55, in court documents. Police said he was working off-duty as a security guard.
Files of the review of the incident said that the officer never warned the girl before deploying the Taser.
“You know what, sweetheart, this is why there’s no grocery stores in the black community, because of all this going on,” Brown told the young girl on the body-worn camera video.
“The last thing I want to do, sweetheart, is Tase you like that,” Brown said. “When I say stop, you stop. You know you(‘re) caught, just stop. That hurt my heart to do that to you. Then I got to listen to all these idiots out here in the parking lot telling me how I was wrong for Tasing you. You broke the law and fled as I tired to apprehend you.”
A review of the incident found that Brown violated policy, adding that he deployed his Taser without warning and expressed prejudice concerning race.
“Quite frankly, I believe the officer violated our policy. I believe the use of force was unnecessary in this particular circumstance,” Police Chief Elliott Isaac said.
During an interview with WLWT, Gowdy admitted she had been shoplifting when she got caught in August. Gowdy said she started to walk away from the officer and felt the barbs of the Taser hit her in the back.
“There will be a predisciplinary hearing,” Isaac said.
“I’m not saying what she did was cool, I’m not saying that, but what he did was totally wrong,” the girl’s mom, Donna Gowdy told reporters.”Whoever thought of these rules needs to step back and think. I’m not just worried bout my own [child]. I’m not trying to see any kid get done like that.”
Cincinnati police department procedure says officers should avoid using tasers on children under 7 or on people over 70.
The procedure also states that “an individual simply fleeing from an officer, absent additional justification, does not warrant the use of the TASER.”
Donesha was charged with theft and obstructing official business.
“We are saddened by this situation,” a spokesperson for Kroger said in a statement. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and associates. Our thoughts are with the family and child.”
Brown has been placed on limited duty during the investigation.