Florida police officers were caught on camera violently restraining a 14-year-old Black girl after she tried to resist arrest on Thursday.
Many on social media are responding to the violent manner in which the officers dealt with the teen, who was arrested at the Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs.
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In cell phone footage, the girl can be seen lying face down on her belly as one uniformed officer punches her while another holds her down, the Miami Herald reports.
The Coral Springs Police Department has responded to the video, claiming that it did not show the entire story.
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“As with all social media posts, it shows only the end of the story, not the incident in its entirety which led up to the arrest,” the police department said in a statement posted on their Facebook page.
“Officers were called to the mall by security about unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance,” it continued.
The girl in the video was alleged to have struck another teen. One patron stopped an officer and said her 5-year-old child had been pushed to the ground by one of the teens, authorities said.
All involved were issued a trespass warning and barred from the mall. However, the police were called to return soon after because the barred teens returned.
The attempted arrest of some of the teens then led to the incident caught on video after the girl began to “fight and resist arrest,” the statement read.
The police officer said he was forced to take violent action because he was trying to get her to release her clenched fists.
The teen was later taken to the police department before being moved to a Juvenile Assessment Center.
“The Coral Springs Police Department believes in transparency,” the department said in a separate statement. “It is important for people to have all the facts before rushing to judgment of an officer’s actions when faced with calls for service involving violent suspects — regardless of their age or gender.”
The teen’s mother told WPLG Local 10 News that the police officers “went completely overboard.”
“I was heartbroken and I couldn’t see her,” said Jessica Dennis. “They just seemed nonchalant. They didn’t care.”
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