Cincinnati, Ohio Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman has launched an investigation and is demanding answers after a Taser was used on an 11-year-old girl at a Kroger supermarket in Spring Grove Village.
Cincinnati police said the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. Monday at the store on Kenard Avenue. The girl reportedly ignored an officer who approached her and walked away while ignoring commands to stop. The officer then shot the child in the back with a Taser, reported Cleveland.com.
According to WLWT, Councilman Jeff Pastor can’t understand why an officer would do that to a child.
“We’re still waiting on bits and pieces of information but I can see no reason, I have a 12-year-old daughter, but I can see no reason why an 11-year-old child would be tasered given the circumstances for shoplifting,” Pastor said.
Lt. Steve Saunders with CPD said their policy allows them to Taser anyone from 7 to 70 years old.
“I would like to confer with the police officers to see why that policy is in place,” Pastor said. “I’m not in the business of criticizing the policy, however a 7-year-old kid, being eligible for use of force by Taser, it probably shocks me, probably shocks most Cincinnatians.”
Police have charged the child with obstruction of justice and theft. She was taken to Children’s Hospital and released to a parent.
The responding officer did not record the incident on his body camera because it allegedly did not turn on until after the incident. WLWT reported that police were unaware if there was surveillance video from inside the store.
Police Chief Eliot Issac said in a statement, “We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age. 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 officers actions.”
The unnamed officer involved has been placed on restricted duty during the investigation.