A police officer in Cincinnati was place on restricted duty while his department investigates his use of a stun gun on an 11-year-old girl earlier this week.
The unidentified child was shocked by the Taser on Monday when she was seen stealing snacks at a Kroger. Officer Kevin Brown, who was working off-duty at the store, says he approached several young females about stealing the snacks.
When one of the girls ignored his commands, he deployed his Taser and hit the 11-year-old in the back, reported FOX19.
The girl's mother, Donna Gowdy, admitted that her daughter was wrong for taking the items; however, she feels that the officer should have never used such a dangerous tool on a child.
“She took some things which she shouldn’t have done, but at the same time, she didn’t have to get treated the way she did for taking those things, she’s only 11 years old," Gowdy told FOX19.
“I don’t believe she gave him any force for him to do that because that’s what Tasers are for. They’re for when he’s getting attacked or when somebody’s got something that’s going to harm him. I don’t believe my 11-year-old harmed him in no fact or any shape or form.”
Mayor John Cranley announced late Wednesday charges against the girl have been dropped at his request.
“Tasing an 11-year old who posed no danger to the police is wrong. I’m sorry for the harm to her and her family," the mayor said in a statement late Wednesday. "This evening I called and asked Prosecutor (Joe) Deters to drop charges against the girl. I’m happy to report that he did.”
The girl was originally arrested and charged with theft and obstructing official business, according to police.
Prosecutor Deters told FOX19, "I am not pursuing criminal charges against an 11-year-year-old who committed a low-level misdemeanor who was Tased in the back. We are done with it. The city can deal with the officer administratively."
Police said they were unaware of any injuries the girl may have suffered.
The Cincinnati Police Department's policy on use of force says, "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 the Taser."
(Photo: Jupiterimages/Getty Images)