CINCINNATI – A Cincinnati police officer who used a stun gun on an 11-year-old black girl accused of shoplifting told her that actions like hers hurts the “community,” according to body camera footage of the arrest.
“You know, sweetheart, this is why there’s no grocery stores in the black community,” said Officer Kevin Brown on a comment caught by his body camera, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The comment resulted in an internal investigation that found that Brown – who is also black – violated department policies. It marks the second time Brown has been accused of making inappropriate comments while on duty, according to the paper, which said he was previously written up for using a homophobic slur in reference to a domestic violence victim.
Body camera footage of the Aug. 6 arrest of the 11-year-old shows her crying after Brown deploys his stun gun.
Brown violated four policies, according to the police department’s investigation, including making prejudiced comments and not warning the girl he was going to use the stun gun.
The report has infuriated Cincinnati officials, who have expressed concern about the girl’s treatment from the start.
“I just don’t know if you have room on the police department for people like this. This guy, from what I am hearing, has serious issues,” said Wendell Young, a city councilman and former police officer.
Cincinnati Police Union President Dan Hils defended Brown’s statement to the girl.
“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.
Brown’s punishment is up to Police Chief Eliot Isaac, who can make a determination after an internal departmental hearing.
The officer is currently on restricted duties.
Punishment could range from counseling to dismissal, and Brown would have the right to appeal either one.
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