A Cincinnati police officer stunned an 11-year-old girl with a Taser on Monday, the city’s Police Department said, setting off anger and driving officials to re-examine the department’s use-of-force policy.
The girl, who is African-American, was suspected of shoplifting food, Councilman Jeff Pastor said on Wednesday. The officer, who is also black, was off duty and working a security detail for the Kroger grocery store where the incident happened, Mr. Pastor said.
“As a father, I could never imagine a scenario where it is acceptable to Tase an 11-year-old child,” he said. “Ever. Ever.”
Chief Eliot Isaac of the Cincinnati Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday: “We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age. 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.”
According to the Cincinnati Police Department’s procedure manual, Tasers may be used on children as young as 7. But before using a stun gun, the manual says, officers must consider the severity of the crime and the risk of danger to others if the person is not quickly apprehended.
“Use the Taser for self-defense or to control subjects that are actively resisting arrest,” the manual says, adding that whenever possible, the subject should be given a verbal warning and the officer should obtain backup.
SOURCE: Christina Caron
The New York Times