Council May Consider Rule Change On Police Use Of Tasers On Children

Aug 8, 2018

Cincinnati City Council may consider changing the rules for police Taser use. The discussion brought up by several council members is in reaction to an incident Monday where an officer used his Taser on an 11-year-old girl accused of shoplifting at a Kroger on Kennard Avenue.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley released a statement late Wednesday. "Tasing an 11-year-old who posed no danger to the police is wrong," he writes. "I'm sorry for the harm to her and her family. 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 for him doing so."

The girl's mother, Donna Gowdy, tells our partners at WCPO she doesn't think such a use of force is appropriate on children. She agrees the policy should be changed.

"If you can't run, then you need to get off the police force," she told WCPO. "If you can't handle an 11-year-old child, then you really need to get off the police force. You here to protect these kids."

The department's policy says Tasers shouldn't be used on obviously pregnant women, or anyone under age seven or older than 70.

Officer Kevin Brown says he deployed his Taser after the girl walked away from him, ignoring several commands to stop.

Police say Brown attempted to turn on his body camera prior to the event but was unable to activate it for some reason. He was able to activate it at some point after deploying the Taser.

Brown is on restricted duty pending an investigation.

The girl was checked out at Children's Hospital and released to her parents. She's charged with theft and obstructing official business.