An 11-year old girl suspected of shoplifting at a Cincinnati-area Kroger was tased and subsequently lectured by a cop who felt he had no other choice.
Adding insult to literal injury, a Cincinnati police officer, who used a stun gun, said that actions like hers hurts the “community,” according to body camera footage of the arrest.
“You know, sweetheart, this is why there’s no grocery stores in the Black community,” said Officer Kevin Brown on a comment caught by his body camera.
Cincinnati police released a use of force report related to the Aug. 6 incident involving Brown, 55, who was working a theft prevention detail at the Spring Grove Kroger. Body camera footage was included in the release and shows the girl, who is African-American, scared and crying as Taser barbs are taken from her back.
Brown, who is also Black, violated four policies according to the report:
- The comment constituted prejudice.
- He did not turn on his body camera until after he deployed his Taser.
- He did not warn the girl he was going to use his Taser. He told her to stop three times as she was exiting the store, but did not warn that he was going to escalate his use of force.
- The incident wasn’t serious enough to deploy a Taser. Police investigators said officers should use the least amount of force necessary when dealing with juveniles.
The incident, primarily the comment, lead to an internal investigation that indicated Brown violated department policies. Apparently, this was the second time Brown has been accused of making inappropriate comments while on duty, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, which said he was previously written up for using a homophobic slur in reference to a domestic violence victim.
Cincinnati officials questioned Brown’s treatment of the child.
“I just don’t know if you have room on the police department for people like this. This guy, from what I am hearing, has serious issues,” said Wendell Young, a city councilman and former police officer.
Of course, Cincinnati Police Union President Dan Hils, who’s white, defended Brown’s statement to the girl.
“This was nothing more than an African-American police officer talking to the girl in a fatherly way,” Hils said.
Evidently, Hils perceives violence and sarcasm as an appropriate action against a Black girl because chasing her requires a police officer to work too hard.
Brown has been placed on restricted duties pending the outcome of the investigation. He can be counseled or dismissed according to Police Chief Eliot Isaac, who can make a determination after an inside department investigation.