Chief: Officer who Tased 11-year-old girl violated procedure
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati police officer violated "several" department procedures when he shocked an 11-year-old girl with a Taser stun gun, the police chief said Monday.
Police administrators will review the violations with Officer Kevin Brown at a pre-disciplinary hearing, Chief Eliot Isaac told Council's Law and Public Safety Committee.
And now, he said, the department may "tweak' its Taser use of force policy in light of the incident.
"Quite frankly, I believe the officer violated the policy," he said. "We'll take a close look at it as it relates to juveniles specifically, what's being done out there nationally.
"Whenever an incident like this happens, we must take the opportunity to make sure we are staying current with what's happening nationally. There may be some areas we can tweak, but I believe we do have a very solid policy around our use of force."
Vice Mayor Chris Smitherman asked the chief to address the committee after the officer Tased the girl when she ran from him as he tried to stop her and other girls from stealing snacks at the Spring Grove Village Kroger store on Aug. 6.
The officer was off-duty, but working a security detail at the store.
The Taser barbs hit the girl in the back.
The girl's mother has said she would rather the officer have grabbed her daughter by the arm.
He arrested her on charges of theft and obstruction of official business.
Two days later, however, as the incident drew national attention on the department, the charges were dropped.
Brown was placed on restricted duty, and an internal investigation began.
Police have said Brown said he tried to activate his body camera but could not properly turn it on.
It remains clear why.
Smitherman has called for a complete investigation of the incident, saying it concerned him.
He requested a review of each time a police officer shocked anyone under the age of 18 with a Taser over the past two years.
He and the Cincinnati NAACP also called on police to change their policy by raising the age of juveniles Tased from 7 to 12.
The Law and Public Safety Committee did not take action on the issue Tuesday.
They are expected to thoroughly debate it at their next meeting in two weeks.
At that time, Smitherman said he wants the police union to weigh in.
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