A police officer from Cincinnati, Ohio is under fire for shooting an 11-year-old girl with a Taser after she was accused of shoplifting from a Kroger. The officer was working an off-duty security shift when he was called to the store over reports that some girls were stealing.
When he arrived, he says he saw the girl, who is not being identified because she is a minor, with a backpack full of items that he believed were stolen. He ordered the girl to stop, but she refused. The officer then pulled out his Taser and shot the young girl, who was only 4'11" and weighed just 90 pounds. The girl was detained and charged with theft and obstructing official business.
The girl's mother, Donna Gowdy, was livid, telling WCPO she doesn't believe the officer should be on the force.
"If you can't run, then you need to get off the police force. 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," she said.
According to WLWT, the girl admitted to stealing the items following a bet with her friends.
“They bet me to walk out, so I walked out. The officer told me to stop, but I kept going,” Donesha said, explaining the reason she didn’t stop when the officer ordered it. “Because I was scared.”
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac said the department is conducting "a very thorough review” of the officer's actions and will go over the department's use of force policies.
The police union defended the officer's actions, pointing out that the girl was not hurt and she did not follow the officer's instructions.
"A taser was used, nobody was hurt, she was apprehended, which she needed to be apprehended," FOP president Dan Hils said. "It's against the law to steal, it's anti-societal to steal, this stuff belongs to somebody else and then top that off, an officer asked you to stop, told you to stop, demanded you to stop and you did not stop."
Following the outcry, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said that the charges against the girl will be dropped.
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