Cincinnati, OH — Last Month, TFTP reported a disturbing story out of Cincinnati that shocked the country after a police officer tasered an 11-year-old girl after he suspected her of stealing food. Now, the body camera footage has been released and it captures the officer telling the girl some particularly disturbing remarks.
On August 6, officer Kevin Brown with the Cleveland police department was working as a security officer at the Spring Grove Village Kroger when he confronted the girl after he suspected her of stealing food. When the officer attempted to stop the little girl, according to police, she did not listen to him.
The girl kept walking in an apparent attempt to get away from the officer who then pulled out his taser and shot her in the back.
According to police, Brown didn't turn on his body camera until after he shot the young girl in the back.
"It's in my body?" she asked, wanting to know if the taser prongs were still in her. "They in my body?"
Brown then walks the girl back inside the Kroger where he would proceed to let his opinions be known.
Although Brown was placed on administrative leave, police say the officer acted within the guidelines of their use of force regarding children.
As WLWT reported, Lt. Steve Saunders with CPD said their guidelines allow them to use a Taser on anyone 7 and older.
The department's policy adds, "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 a taser, unless the encounter rises to the level of a deadly force situation."
Aside from the use of the taser on the girl, the officer is now once again in hot water after body camera footage captured him telling the girl because she was caught taking food and clothes for a baby, that this is why grocery stores aren't in black neighborhoods.
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"You know what, sweetheart, this is why there’s no grocery stores in the black community, because of all this going on,” Brown said, who is also black.
According to Cincinnati.com, a department hearing is pending regarding discipline for Brown, out of which will come a recommendation to the chief. Brown's failure to turn on his body camera is considered neglect of duty, the other violations are considered failures of good behavior.
Councilman Wendell Young, a former police officer, spoke out about the officers actions, noting, “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. He apparently polices the way he feels.”
Cincinnati Police Union President Dan Hils, on the other hand, defended Brown's use of a taser on the little girl and also his remarks, noting that they had a "certain element of truth."
"I think the officer was trying to express to this juvenile suspect that there are consequences, not only to herself, but to others when you don’t respect the property rights of another," Hils said.
"How can we trust in a fair judgment of this officer’s actions when so many in high public positions condemned his actions before they knew all the facts?" Hils asked. "They should address the fact he did not turn on his camera in time, but other than that, the agency should consider policy and procedure changes."
While the officer may have been genuine in his words to the girl trying to teach her a lesson, the idea that he meant well for her went out of the window the moment he shot her in the back with a taser.
Despite deploying his taser into the back of a little girl and his remarks, it is highly unlikely that Brown will be fired or charged with a crime.
As Cincinnati.com reports, since Brown has a prior, similar violation for expressing prejudice, the manual recommends hearing officers consider a one- to five-day suspension. For using more force than is necessary, the manual recommends a seven- to 11-day suspension.
Below is the body camera footage after the girl was tasered.
Below is the video showing Brown make the remarks.