BY AZURE GILMAN
Police in Cincinnati released bodycam video on Tuesday of an officer telling an 11-year-old girl, after he used a taser on her for allegedly shoplifting, that “this is why there aren’t any grocery stores in the Black community,” an internal review showed.
The incident happened while police officer Kevin Brown was working “an outside employment extension of police services detail” at a Kroger’s grocery store on August 6, according to the Cincinnati Police Department.
@CincyPD press release regarding the tasing of a juvenile suspect.
Brown witnessed three girls attempting to shoplift items, the review, posted by ABC affiliate WCPO stated.
As all three tried to leave the store, Brown repeatedly asked them to stop. When they refused his commands, Brown deployed the taser at one of the girls, the internal review said.
Officer Brown did not turn on his bodycam video until after he tased the girl. After deploying the taser, Brown then placed her in handcuffs and escorted her to the back of the store, according to the use of force review of the incident.
“The last thing I want to do is tase you like that,” Brown tells the girl in the video. “That hurt my heart to do that to you. Then I got to listen to all these idiots out here in the parking lot tell me how I was wrong for tasing you.”
When Brown searched the girl’s backpack, he found “clothing, and consumable goods which included food and beverage” which was worth just over $53, the review said.
The items included “candy and beef jerky, as well as infant clothing,” according to the report. The backpack also belonged to the Kroger’s, the review stated.
The girl told the officer that she “took a backpack but the two other juveniles placed items in the bag,” the internal review said.
The girl was later taken to the Children’s Hospital Medical Center for evaluation, and then released, according to Cincinnati police.
The use of force review of the incident found that Brown violated several department rules including using a TASER without giving a verbal warning he was about to do so, using a TASER when not reasonably necessary and expressing prejudice concerning race.
After ordering the girl several times to stop and show him a receipt for her purchases, Brown used his TASER on her, according to the review. One barb from the weapon hit her in the back, and another hit her below the waist, documents showed. She then fell to the ground, after which Brown handcuffed her and brought her back into the store.
Brown knew the girl “did not appear to be a threat to himself or others,” the review stated. It also says that “Brown was referencing the closing of a number of Kroger stores in black communities, which he believed resulted from large amounts of theft losses.”
Brown had been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of the investigation, according to police.
Brown now will face a pre-disciplinary hearing, ABC Affiliate WCPO reported.
Cincinnati Police Union President Dan Hils defended Brown.
“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 in a statement to the Cincinnati Enquirer.