On Monday, an off duty Cincinnati police officer felt so threatened by an 11-year-old girl that he was compelled to shoot her in the back with a taser gun as she tried to walk away from him.
The girl, who was suspected of stealing items from a Kroger store, was tased after she allegedly ignored an officer and started to walk away, Cincinnati police said in a statement.
Cincinnati police department procedure says that officers should avoid using tasers on children under the age of 7 or on people over the age of 70.
Who are we kidding? He didn’t feel threatened. She stole some food and it was a little girl. This was nothing to get worked up over. But this girl, whoever she is, committed the worst crime in America: She disrespected a cop when she ignored his commands and walked away.
So he punished her with a few thousand of volts of electricity in the back.
And let’s be perfectly clear about this: This was punishment. This was not an appropriate use of force by any definition. There was no threat to the officer. There was no threat to bystanders. There was no threat to anything other than the off-duty officer’s ego because how fucking dare some little brat not obey him?
This is not a race issue. We don’t currently know the race of either the officer or the girl he tortured. It wouldn’t be terribly surprising to find out that she is black and that he is white but, honestly, the abuse of tasers by the police goes well beyond race. It’s supposed to be used in lieu of lethal force but all too often the police simply use it when they’re irritated. That’s exactly what we saw when Sean Williams was tortured while sitting on a curb following orders. The officer got annoyed he wasn’t complying fast enough so he shot Williams in the back. And why not? There are even fewer consequences for unnecessary use of force than there are for killing unarmed suspects.
The officer involved has been placed on “restricted duty” and the following statement was released:
“We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age. 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 officers’ actions,” Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac said in the statement.
If we’re lucky, he might even get a slap on the wrist. Gee golly whiz. That’ll teach him. Meanwhile, police everywhere else will internalize a little bit more that there are no real consequences for their actions.
Don’t you feel safer already?
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.