Outraged Mother Speaks Out After 11-Year-Old Daughter is Tased in the Back by Off-Duty Cincinnati Cop [Update]

Donna Gowdy shows the hole left her daughter’s back from the Taser
Donna Gowdy shows the hole left her daughter’s back from the Taser
Screenshot: WCPO

Updated: Wednesday, August 8, 2018; 4:00 p.m. EDT: A Cincinnati mother is demanding answers and action after her 4-foot-11, 90-pounds-soaking-wet 11-year-old daughter was tased in the back by an officer.


Donna Gowdy, the mother in question, does not believe that any child should be stunned in that manner, because why the fuck would you do that. Her daughter, who remains unidentified, as she is a child who is accused of a crime, still reportedly shivers when she goes to bed, her body still hurt from the incident earlier this week.

“If you can’t run, then you need to get off the police force. If you can’t handle an 11-year-old child, then you really need to get off the police force. You here to protect these kids,” Gowdy told WCPO.

The 11-year-old fifth grader is accused of shoplifting from a local Kroger, allegedly walking away with a backpack full of items, a press release from the police noted.

The coward officer, who was off-duty and working security at the store was investigating reports of young girls stealing items. He apparently told the child to stop, but she ignored him and continued to walk away. That was when he deployed his taser into the child’s back.

“They need to think before they do action,” Gowdy said. “I do want justice. I’m going for it. Because I don’t want this to happen to nobody else’s kids. Because it could have been worse. It could have been a gun.”

“She didn’t have nothing on her with a bag full of goodies. That right there, that was wrong, that was so wrong,” the enraged mother added.



Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac has launched an investigation after one of his officers used a Taser on an 11-year-old girl who is accused of stealing from a Kroger grocery store on Monday, prompting outrage even among legislators.


“There needs to be a complete investigation,” Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman, chairman of council’s Law and Public Safety Committee said according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s hard to understand why an 11-year-old would be tased. I expect answers in 24 hours.”

So why did the big, bad officer, protecting the peace, deploy his weapon at a child? Apparently, because the girl ignored him when she was approached.


The Enquirer notes that the off-duty officer was working security at the Spring Grove Village Kroger and looking into reports of several young girls stealing from the store. When the officer approached the young girl, she ignored the officer and continued to walk. That was when the officer deployed the Taser at the girl, striking her from the back.

There is so much to unpack here that makes me absolutely furious. First of all, I am pressed to think of any situation—particularly a situation where a “suspect” is simply walking away—where an 11-year-old should be Tased, let alone in the back. That has to be one of the most infuriating, cowardly things I have ever heard a cop do, and I cover cop news to the point where I’m sick.


The child, whose identity remains undisclosed, was arrested on charges of theft and obstruction of official business. She was taken into the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for evaluation, before being released into her parent’s custody.

“We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age,” Chief Isaac said. “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 officer’s actions.”


Per city policy, officers are discouraged from using Tasers on obviously pregnant women, and individuals under the age of 7 or above the age of 70 “due to the potential for these individuals to fall when incapacitated by a taser, unless the encounter rises to the level of a deadly force situation.”

Department policy states that Tasers are “for self-defense or to temporarily immobilize a subject who is actively resisting arrest.”


But I’m sure to this American hero an 11-year-old alleged shoplifter who was walking away (who I suppose was technically within the acceptable age range) was definitely actively resisting arrest or some kind of crazed criminal out to do harm.

The officer behind the encounter has not been identified and has been placed on restricted duty, pending the outcome of the investigation.


As for the child, she is expected to appear in Hamilton County Juvenile Court, though a court date is not immediately available.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi


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Oh look, another off-duty officer moonlighting as security.

Or, to an 11 year old girl, a strange man taking an uncomfortable interest in what you are doing.

Fuck that guy.  Preferably with his taser.