A police officer in Cincinnati is being investigated and put on “restricted duty” after he tased an 11-year-old girl he suspected of stealing food in a Kroger supermarket on Tuesday night. The child has been charged with theft and obstruction of justice.
According to a statement by the Cincinnati Police Department, the officer was off-duty when he began questioning several young girls about stealing food. One of the girls began to walk away, and when she ignored his commands to stop, he shot his Taser, shocking her in the back. Local ABC affiliate WCPO reports that the girl, a fifth grader, weighs 90 pounds.
“We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age,” Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac wrote in a statement. “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.”
Currently, the Washington Post reports, the Cincinnati Police Department permits deploying Tasers on suspects between the ages of 7 and 70.
After she was shocked, the girl was evaluated at a local hospital, and released back to her parents. Her mother, Donna Gowdy, told WCPO her daughter’s body still hurts.
“If you can’t run, then you need to get off the police force. If you can’t handle an 11-year-old child, then you really need to get off the police force. You here to protect these kids,” she said.
In their statement, the Cincinnati Police Department said the girl will appear in juvenile court at a date “in the near future.”