11-year-old Girl Tased by Cop
CINCINNATI, OH – August 9, 2018
On Monday, a Cincinnati police officer used a Taser to stop an 11-year-old girl from leaving a grocery store after she allegedly stole snacks. The event has prompted the public, city officials and now the police administration to question the city's Taser policy.
This is how the police describe the situation:
“On august 6 2018 a Cincinnati Police Officer working an outside employment detail at a local grocery store was investigating several female juveniles already stealing items from the store. When the officer approached one of the juveniles she ignored the officer and continued to walk away, ignoring several commands to stop. The officer deployed his Taser striking the eleven year old in her back. The juvenile was subsequently placed into custody and charged with Theft and Obstructing OFFICIAL BUSINESS. After being evaluated at Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the juvenile was released to a parent’s custody and will appear in Hamilton County Juvenile Court at date in near futute”.
It seems everything is clear, but there are several questions:
What causes a police officer to tase to an 11-year-old girl? I understand that children are different and some are quite able to bring to sin even a Saint, but there must be some limits…
Formaly, he didn’t break the law. The department policy puts limits on using a taser, but much of the decision is left in the hands of the officer.
“An individual simply fleeing from an officer, absent additional justification,
does not warrant the use of the TASER,” the Cincinnati Police manual states. “The TASER may be deployed on a suspect actively resisting arrest when there is probable cause to arrest the suspect.”
The manual's definition of "actively resisting arrest" is broad: "When the subject is making physically evasive movements to defeat the officer’s attempt at control, including fleeing, bracing, tensing, pushing, or verbally signaling an intention to avoid or prevent being taken into or retained in custody.”
The policy states that officers should try to obtain backup before using the Taser, and that medical treatment should be sought for anyone who was struck by the device.
The manual says Tasers should not be used on those under 7 years old or more than 70 and never on pregnant women. It states “the preferred target area is the back of the individual actively resisting arrest” and tells officers to avoid firing a Taser at the head, neck, eyes, throat and chest.
So he didn't formally break any instructions, but I highly doubt that an 11-year-old girl was a public danger and “actively resisting arrest when there is probable cause to arrest the suspect.” The girl was charged and released to a parent’s custody.
However, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Wednesday the girl would not be charged criminally, adding that he supports an investigation into why a Taser was used.
"Generally with anyone under the age of 12, we want law enforcement to discuss charges with us," Deters said. "That was not done in this case."
Mayor John Cranley also weighed in, releasing a statement that reads:
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. 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.
The incident prompted an investigation and landed the officer on “restricted duty.” The officer realized his mistake and sincerely regrets what he did.
The officer does not look physically weak and unable to cope with a little girl. His mental health is also not in doubt. But his psychological state could be not as stable as it is supposed to be in the moment. Maybe it's because he has to work when he is off-duty? Maybe he's stressed out from working long hours just to make ends meet when he should be retired already.
I do not call for the prohibition of police officers from working in additional jobs. I urge to provide to the people, who ensure safety and security of our life, normal living conditions, so they don't have to do it. I also call on parents and the school and other competent authorities to pay more attention to the education of children in the spirit of respect for the law and police officers. This applies not only to parents and teachers. This applies to all employees of the media, film and TV industry, who in pursuit of sensation, profit or popularity kill juvenile’s faith in the law and good cops.