An 11-year-old girl was reportedly Tased by a police officer who suspected her of shoplifting at a Cincinnati Kroger supermarket on Monday night.
The girl, who was not immediately identified, was approached by Cincinnati police officer Kevin Brown at a Kroger after he suspected her of using a backpack to shoplift. Cincinnati police said Brown approached her, but she tried to flee and was shocked with the stun gun. The girl was taken to a hospital following the incident.
The girl was charged with theft and obstruction of justice, but Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley asked the prosecutor to drop the charges.
“Tasing an 11-year-old who posed no danger to the police is wrong. I’m sorry for the harm done to her and her family,” Cranley wrote in a statement. “This evening I called and asked Prosecutor Deters to drop charges against the girl. I’m happy to report that he did and I thank him for doing so.”
Brown was placed on restricted duty until an investigation was completed, FOX 19 reported. Brown was working an off-duty security detail at the supermarket at the time of the incident, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The girl’s mother, Donna Gowdy, called the incident “scary and hurtful” in an interview with FOX 19.
“I’m sure that big man could have done better than that. I would have preferred he grabbed her and held her up. That would show that you really wanted to catch her,” Gowdy said.
The mother did not excuse her daughter’s actions but did not think she should have been “treated the way she did.”
“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 said.
The girl was with her sister and her friend at the time of the incident. She did not comment on the incident, but told the Cincinnati Enquirer that she “felt sad.” Gowdy said her daughter has back pain as a result of the Tasing.
“If you can’t restrain these little kids, you need to find a different job,” Gowdy told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “She should have never got Tased.”
Cincinnati police officers were told they could use stun guns on people between the ages of 7 to 70 if “a suspect [is] actively resisting arrest when there is probable cause to arrest the suspect.”
“I just want justice,” Gowdy said. “Not just for mine, but for others, too.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.