Cincinnati, OH — Last year, TFTP reported a disturbing story out of Cincinnati that shocked the country after a police officer tasered an 11-year-old girl in the back after he suspected her of stealing food. Since then, officer Kevin Brown was "disciplined" by his department, but never fired. He then became the subject of a criminal FBI investigation that his superiors called a politically motivated "assault on our cops." And now, the propaganda by department has worked and the officer has been cleared.
Officer Brown appealed his suspension and won after the court found it was totally acceptable to taser small children in the back for stealing food.
"Talk about a war on police, Willie," Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Dan Hils said on Bill Cunningham's talk show on WLW in February. "The war on police isn't only when people shoot policemen, it's when politicians and even sometimes politicians with things on their collar within the police department take part in allowing this kind of assault on our cops.
"If we're not perfect in the community's eyes, not only are we condemned by politicians who ask for us to be fired ... Somebody must have pushed for this criminal referral and my guess is this has to do with the old ugly word, politics ... They're going after Kevin Brown for political reasons, not true criminal reasons."
Not only are Hils' comments incredibly offensive to the family of the victim but it highlights the disturbing mentality we've seen from police departments across the country—particularly Houston Police Officers’ Union President Joe Gamaldi who threatened to "go after" those who criticize cops.
Now simply wanting an investigation conducted by someone outside of their own department is apparently waging a war on cops. A troubling notion indeed. Especially considering that this week, officer Brown was found not guilty of using excessive force when he deployed his taser to the back of the child.
According to Cincinnati.com, an arbitrator handling the case brought by the Fraternal Order of Police, which represented Officer Kevin Brown, against the City of Cincinnati found that the policy in place during the August incident allowed officers to use a stun gun on children as young as 7. As such, Brown was found not guilty of using excessive force.
Brown will now be reinstated with full back pay for the brief suspension he served as part of the slap on the wrist punishment he received from the department.
"People shot off their mouth before they knew the facts," Hils said. "Even though investigators tried to be fair, it would have been difficult for them to be fair when you have a chief and council members coming down on this case."
Disgustingly enough, Brown's defense used other examples of small children being tasered by cops who faced no discipline as a reason not to charge Brown.
"It is axiomatic that similarly situated employees must be treated similarly," the arbitrator, Tobie Braverman, wrote.
On August 6, officer Brown with the Cleveland police department was working as a security officer at the Spring Grove Village Kroger when he confronted Donesha Gowdy 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.
Gowdy 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.
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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's 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.
"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.
At the time, 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.”
Not surprisingly, at the time, Hils 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.
The charges of theft and obstruction against the girl were later dropped and the city and Kroger agreed to pay her family $240,000,according to the family's attorney.
"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," Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said in a statement.
Donesha's mother, Donna Gowdy, said at the time she was disappointed in the system.
"If you can't restrain little kids," she said, "you need to find a different job."
Below is the body camera footage after the girl was tasered.
Below is the video showing the officer pull his taser and aim it at her back.
Cincinnati Police release Surveillance video of Police Officer Kevin Brown chasing and later tasing an 11-year-old shoplifting suspect.http://bit.ly/2Q9afl5
Posted by WBFF FOX 45 on Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Below is the video showing Brown make the remarks.