Off-Duty Ohio Cop Uses Taser on 11-Year-Old Girl He Suspected of Shoplifting

The Cincinnati Police Department has placed the officer on restricted duty.

An 11-year-girl was shocked with a Taser by an off-duty police officer who suspected her of shoplifting in a grocery store, authorities said.

The child was in a Kroger's supermarket this week with her 9-year-old sister and some friends when she was confronted by Cincinnati Police Officer Kevin Brown, who was off duty and working security. When the girl kept walking and didn't stop, Brown used his stun gun and fired at her back, authorities said.

She was examined at a local hospital and charged with theft and obstructing official business, but those charges were dropped after Mayor John Cranley joined a chorus of complaints about the incident and phoned the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.

"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 [Joe] Deters to drop charges against the girl. I'm happy to report that he did and I thank him for doing so."

Deters said police did not consult his office before charging the child.

"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."

The 55-year-old officer has been placed on desk duty while the department investigates the incident, authorities said.

Messages left Wednesday by with the Cincinnati Police were not returned.

"There needs to be a complete investigation," said Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman, chairman of council's Law and Public Safety Committee. "It's hard to understand why an 11-year-old would be Tased."

The child's mother, Donna Gowdy, said her daughter was dared to steal some snacks from the store and did so. 

"I understand that the stealing and everything was wrong, but how he went about it, it didn't have to happen, and two wrongs don't make a right," Gowdy told CBS affiliate WKRC-TV.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac came to her home to discuss what happened. 

"We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age," the chief said in a statement. "As a result, we will be taking a very thorough review of our policies as it relates to using force on juveniles as well as the propriety of the officer's actions."