Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac told the City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee that the off-duty officer who used his Taser on an 11-year-old girl likely "violated" the department's policy, City Beat reported.
“Quite frankly, I believe the officer violated the policy,” Isaac told the Council, according to City Beat. “It was unnecessary in this circumstance. We’ll take a close look (at the policy) as it relates to juveniles specifically.”
Isaac said the department had completed its weekslong review of into officer Kevin Brown's actions against the girl who was allegedly caught shoplifting food from a Kroger store on Aug. 6. Brown deployed his Taser to the girl's back when she didn't follow his commands to stop.
The incident drew a backlash from community members and local officials. Initially, the girl was charged with theft and obstruction of official business, but the charges were dropped following Mayor John Cranley's request to the Hamilton County prosecutor.
What else did the police chief say?
Isaac defended the department's use of force policy on Monday. In an interview with WCPO-TV, Isaac said that children sometimes act in a way that "very violent" and that officers "may be forced to use some type of force."
"Those are very rare and extreme cases," Isaac said.
He blamed Brown's judgment and not the policy in the incident with the girl.
"There may be some areas in which we can tweak, but I believe we do have a very solid policy around our use of force," the chief said.
Last year, Brown was the subject of a use of force investigation, but he was not found to be in violation of the police, according to WCPO.
What did the bodycam show?
Bodycam video released on Tuesday showed Brown holding onto the girl whose arms were behind her back. His comments were also noted as a possible violation in the review.
He escorted her into an office inside the Kroger store where he can be heard telling her she should have stopped when he ordered her to do so.
"The last thing I want to do is tase you like that. When I say stop, you stop. You know you're caught. Just stop," Brown told the girl. "That hurt my heart to do that to you."
Brown also didn't warn the girl that he was about to use his taser on her, according to the investigation.
"You know sweetheart? This is why there aren't any grocery stores in the black community," Brown said. "Because of all this going on."
According to the investigation, the girl took about $53 worth of candy, beef jerky, and infant clothing. She was accompanied by two other young girls.
The girl can be heard crying when the first responders arrived and began removing the Taser barbs from her back. Brown told her to stay calm.
Brown admitted in an interview after the incident that he could have caught up with the girl and that the use of the Taser was unnecessary.
The officer will face a pre-disciplinary hearing, according to Isaac. Lt. Steve Saunders told WCPO that the hearing "would be to review sustained findings" associated with the investigation.
The review showed several possible policy violations including not activating his body camera at the onset of the shoplifting alert, not warning the girl that he would be using his Taser, his use of force wasn't warranted, and his comment about the lack of grocery stores in black communities.
Brown will remain on restricted duty until further determinations are made.