A Cincinnati off-duty police officer is under fire after he suspected an 11-year-old girl was shoplifting and then shot her in the back with his taser, The Washington Post reports.
The questionable use of force has now landed the unnamed officer on “restricted duty,” Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac said.
“We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age,” Isaac said in a statement Tuesday.
The girl was in a Kroger supermarket, which is also the officer extra job outside of the force. No word on if the taser was supplied by Krogers or by the Cincinnati police force.
“We are saddened by this situation,” Kroger said in a statement Wednesday. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and associates. Our thoughts are with the family and child.”
Isaac said the department is now reviewing policies on how to handle minor children.
Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman, chairman of the Cincinnati City Council’s law and public safety committee, is demanding answers about the officer’s actions.
“It’s hard to understand why an 11-year-old would be Tased; I expect answers in 24 hours,” Smitherman said Tuesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
According to the department’s use-of-force policy, officers can use tasers on people between the ages of 7 and 70. But there are specific reasons given that outlines when the officer can use the disabling weapon.
“An individual simply fleeing from an officer, absent additional justification, does not warrant the use of the TASER,” the policy reads.
The minor was treated by the Children’s Hospital Medical Center and released to her parents. The girl is a first-time offender, court administrator Kevin Hardman told The Post. She has been charged with theft and obstructing official business and will appear in Juvenile Court “in the near future.”