Cincinnati Police are reviewing their use of force policy, which currently allows using a taser on kids as young as 7
A Cincinnati police officer is on restricted duty and being investigated after allegedly using a taser on an 11-year-old girl suspected of shoplifting a backpack full of food from a Kroger grocery store.
A police officer used a taser. On an 11-year-old girl. She was suspected of shoplifting food. Apparently, somewhere, an officer is trying to make the argument that a taser was the amount of force necessary to stop a child who was hungry.
The officer hasn’t been identified, but reports say he was off-duty at the Kroger when someone alerted him to the girl, who was allegedly shoplifting. She allegedly ignored him when he asked her to stop, and that’s when he shot her in the back with a taser. A taser.
We have to stop this. These are KIDS. All of our kids. We must teach them right and wrong, but not with a Taser! https://t.co/mIn5hXoEbx
— Anne-Marie Slaughter (@SlaughterAM) August 8, 2018
In case anyone isn’t sure how a taser works, it hits its target with a concentrated electrical current that overwhelms the sensory nervous system. People who have been tased generally lose control of their limbs. It’s incredibly painful. And again, this was used on an 11-year-old girl.
The girl was taken to a local children’s hospital, where she was charged with theft and obstruction, then released to her family. Reports say she appeared healthy when she was released.
The action has divided the community, with some people obviously shocked and horrified that any police officer would tase a child, and others somehow convincing themselves that this was justified.
“It’s difficult to arrest or detain someone who is determined to get away. On TV they make it look easy. Steven Seagal does his thing but in realty it’s hard,” a former Cincinnati Police officer told Fox 19. Detaining an 11-year-old girl is not so hard it requires the use of a weapon. Seriously? Did someone actually say those words?
Now, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac has announced that the department will conduct a “thorough review” of its use of force policies, which currently allow officers to use tasers on anyone between the ages of seven and 70. Yes, seven.
“The girl, a fifth grader at Winton Hills Academy, is 4-foot-11 and 90 pounds, according to a police report,” WCPO reports.
“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,” the girl’s mother, Donna Gowdy, told WCPO.
This police department currently operates under a policy that allows it to use tasers on 7-year-olds. Obviously this is insane. Does it really need to be said that this is insane?
Very much appreciate the Police Chief's statement here. I can't imagine a scenario where it would be acceptable to use a taser on an 11 year old child because she was taking food. pic.twitter.com/rS3LcUo0GS
— Chris Seelbach (@ChrisSeelbach) August 8, 2018
And if this policy exists in Cincinnati, it probably exists elsewhere. Hopefully this will be a wakeup call to police departments across the country to examine their own use of force policies and make sure that tasers are never again used on children.