A young 11-year-old girl walked into her neighborhood Kroger with her friend, with the intent to shoplift. The grand total? $53.81 worth of snacks, clothing and drinks. This is when Cincinnati Police Officer Kevin Brown spotted the young lady and proceeded without warning to use the Taser on her. And as she laid on the ground convulsing, the officer said to her “you know, sweetheart, this is why there’s no grocery stores in the black community.” How ignorant. When this happened a few months ago, a heated debate was sparked throughout the city and social media alike–was this excessive use of force?
While the city hasn’t made any changes to its use of force policies, they have settled with the family for $220,000 and Kroger has also settled by giving the family $20,000. Both settlements go toward the young lady’s emotional care, who is obviously scarred from that traumatic experience. While the lesson of “shoplifting is wrong” was learned the hard way, the police officer in question also violated policies such as the ignorant comment about the black community which constituted prejudice; he did not warn the young lady that he was deploying the Taser and he also didn’t turn on his body camera until he used the Taser. Lastly, he used the Taser when the incident wasn’t serious enough to warrant it. Police officers say that the least amount of force should be used when dealing with juveniles, but obviously Officer Brown didn’t get the memo. Police Chief Elliot Issac has yet to make a decision on Brown’s punishment.
SPOTTED: Cincinnati Enquirer