Police use Taser on 11-year-old girl accused of stealing from supermarket

A Taser, photographed during refresher training at the Cincinnati Police Department's Queensgate training facility in October 2009.

CINCINNATI – A Cincinnati police officer used a Taser to stun an 11-year-old girl allegedly stealing from a supermarket Monday, according to police.

An off-duty officer working security at a Kroger in Spring Grove Village, a Cincinnati neighborhood, was investigating several young girls allegedly stealing from the store, police said. The officer approached the 11-year-old, she ignored the officer and continued to walk away, according to police. The officer struck the girl in the back with the Taser.

The girl was arrested on charges of theft and obstructing official business. She was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for evaluation and released to a parent’s custody.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac has opened an investigation, acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney said.

June 19:Bucks rookie Sterling Brown sues Milwaukee police, saying tasing violated his civil rights.

May 26:Milwaukee Bucks’ Sterling Brown on arrest: ‘I gave in so they didn’t pull out their guns’.

“There needs to be a complete investigation,” said Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman, chairman of the council’s Law and Public Safety Committee. “It’s hard to understand why an 11-year-old would be Tased. I expect answers in 24 hours.”.

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The officer, whose name was not released, has been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

“We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age,” said Isaac. “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.”.

The police department’s Taser policy says Tasers are “for self-defense or to temporarily immobilize a subject who is actively resisting arrest.”.

Tasers generate electricity in a small, hand-held, battery operated unit about the size of a handgun. When properly used, a Taser generates an electrical current that dominates a person’s neuromuscular and sensory nervous system. People become physically incapacitated and unable to control muscle movement, allowing officers to gain control.

May 23:Milwaukee police: ‘Members acted inappropriately’ in tasing incident with Bucks rookie Sterling Brown.

May 17:Troopers accused of trying to cover up death of teen who was Tased before ATV crash.

Cincinnati’s policy adds, “Officers should avoid using the Taser on obviously pregnant females and those individuals under the age of 7 or over the age of 70 due to the potential for these individuals to fall when incapacitated by a taser, unless the encounter rises to the level of a deadly force situation.”.

The girl will appear in Hamilton County (Ohio) Juvenile Court. A court date is not immediately available.

Follow Sharon Coolidge on Twitter: @SharonCoolidge.

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