(BBC) – A Cincinnati police officer who deployed a stun gun on a 11-year-old girl suspected of shoplifting violated department policy, investigators say.
Officer Kevin Brown, 55, was also heard on bodycam video telling the girl that actions like hers were “why there’s no grocery stores in the black community”.
His comment prompted an internal probe that found he violated four policies.
Officer Brown, 55, had been working as a theft prevention officer at a supermarket when the incident occurred.
Cincinnati police released bodycam footage of the 6 August arrest as part of a use of force report, showing the girl, who is African American, crying as Taser barbs are removed from her back.
“Quite frankly, I believe the officer violated our policy. I believe the use of force was unnecessary in this particular circumstance,” said Police Chief Elliott Isaac, who will determine how Mr Brown will be punished after an internal department hearing.
The report found that Mr Brown, who is also African American, violated policies including making prejudiced comments, failing to turn on his body camera until after he used his Taser, failing to warn the girl before deploying his stun gun and using force when it was not necessary.
According to police guidelines, officers are required to use the least amount of physical force against a child.
The girl’s family admitted she was shoplifting, according to the report. It found that she had about $50 (£38) worth of goods in her backpack when she was arrested.
Officer Brown, who has since been placed on restricted duties, defended his comments about grocery stores, arguing that he was supported by statistics and that his remarks were unbiased.
It marks the second time he has been accused of making inappropriate comments, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Nearly two years ago, Officer Brown was reportedly reprimanded for using a homophobic slur during a domestic violence incident.