Read a PDF of our statement here.
Recently, an off-duty Cincinnati police officer, Kevin Brown, used a taser
on an 11-year-old girl for allegedly shoplifting snacks. At the time, Brown was working as a security guard for the Spring Grove Village Kroger, and after the tasing the young girl was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for treatment. Monique Dixon
, Deputy Director of Policy and Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), provided the following statement:
“Unnecessary and overly-aggressive police use-of-force doesn’t get clearer than this. It’s hard to imagine any justification for using a taser against an 11-year-old girl armed only with snacks she allegedly shoplifted. This type of abuse not only risks violating the law and departmental policies, but also traumatizes the victim, her family, and their entire community for years to come. The police chief and mayor were right in questioning the officer’s conduct and the county prosecutor was right in dropping all charges against the young girl, but that’s not enough. We echo calls by local advocates like the Cincinnati Black United Front for an immediate and thorough investigation – both by the police department but also separately by the citizen complaint authority – to determine whether the officer violated police policies and what disciplinary action should be taken. We also urge the Cincinnati Police Department to review and revise its use-of-force guidelines to ensure that youth aren’t dangerously and needlessly subjected to violence by their officers.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.