Cincinnati Police Chief, Eliot K. Isaac said, “We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age. The department is also reviewing its use-of-force policies for minors”.
Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman, chairman of the Cincinnati City Council said, “It’s hard to understand why an 11-year-old would be Tased. I expect answers in 24 hours. The department’s use-of-force policy allows using the disabling weapon on suspects between the ages of 7 and 70”.
Monday at a Kroger in northern Cincinnati, the officer had suspected the 11-year-old of shoplifting. Department guidelines also say officers should weigh several factors before reaching for a Taser, including the severity of a potential crime, the level of suspicion and “the risk of danger posed to others if the suspect is not promptly apprehended.”Deaths of suspects who have been struck with stun guns have raised questions about the ubiquity of the weapons and their common use to bring down suspects. The Cincinnati Police Department has not released the name of the officer or the girl. The local ABC affiliate WCPO reported that she weighs 90 pounds, citing a police report.
The authorities and Kroger haven’t specified the man’s role at the store. It was not clear whether the officer used his service Taser or one supplied to him by his off-duty employer.”We are saddened by this situation,” Kroger said in a statement Wednesday. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and associates. Our thoughts are with the family and child.”
Police spokesman Lt. Steve Saunders has not responded to multiple requests for comment. The girl was evaluated by the Children’s Hospital Medical Center and released to her parents, authorities said, adding that she was charged with theft and obstructing official business.