A Cincinnati police officer is now being investigated by his own department after he deployed a stun gun against an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly shoplifting at a grocery store.
USA Today reports that the officer, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, was working at his second job as a security guard at a local Kroger in the neighborhood of Spring Grove Village.
During his shift, he approached an 11-year-old girl who had been flagged for allegedly shoplifting at the store. The girl tried to walk away from him as he approached her, at which point he struck her in the back with a Taser.
The girl, who was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for treatment before being released to her parents, was subsequently charged with theft and obstructing official business.
Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman, chairman of the Cincinnati city council’s Law and Public Safety Committee, welcomed the Cincinnati Police Department investigating the officer, and he said he couldn’t figure out why such force was used on someone so young.
“It’s hard to understand why an 11-year-old would be Tased,” he said. “I expect answers in 24 hours.”
Cincinnati’s department guidelines state that officers are allowed to use Tasers on people as young as seven years old if they are resisting arrest.