The police say social media is “rushing to judgment” about a video of an officer punching a 14-year-old girl while pinning her to the ground.
A video clip of the Thursday brawl in Florida shows the teen restrained, face-down on the grass, by a female cop while a male delivers blows to her lower back. “Why are you hitting her?” a bystander yells.
It was originally shared by Instagram user Victoria Cedeno, who said that the Coral Springs, Fla., officer punched her 14-year-old cousin because she “back talked him” after she and her friends were ordered to leave the Coral Square Mall, reported local news station NBC 6.
Cedeno reportedly wrote that after a boy spit in her face, her cousin left the mall only to be confronted by police officers and “thrown to the ground and punched because she couldn’t get her hands free from under her when they [were] trying to handcuff her.”
This is a Coral Springs police officer repeatedly punching a 14-YEAR-OLD BLACK GIRL.
This is WHY WE KNEEL!!
RETWEET THIS! pic.twitter.com/k8IdfAabai
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) October 19, 2018
Cedeno deleted her original post, but the footage was shared all over social media, causing some people to call the officer a racist because he is white and the teen is black.
“He went completely overboard,” the teen’s mother, Jessica Dennis, told Miami news station WPLG Local10. “Her hands were pinned up. It was just too much.”
Dennis also said, “I was heartbroken, and I couldn’t see her. They just seemed nonchalant. They didn’t care.”
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attorney Meeghan Moldof, who is now representing the family, told Miami news station WSVN: “It’s clear from the video that my client was on the ground. Her hands are on her belly, the officer’s knees are on her back, and he’s just gut-shotting her, like one after another.”
Moldof did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
There is a video that is circulating showing CSPD officers arresting a 14-year old female at the Coral Square Mall on…
On Friday, the Coral Springs Police Department posted a statement on Facebook saying that the teen was the aggressor. The post, titled “Rumor Control,” said of the video, “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.”
“Officers were called to the mall by security about unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance,” said the statement. “Upon meeting with security, an officer was stopped by a mother, who indicated her 5-year old child was shoved to the ground by one of the teens. In addition, mall security indicated one of the female teens (arrested) was seen striking another teen patron. Security asked that CSPD officers issue a trespass warning and bar the teens from the mall, which they did.”
The statement continues: “Prior to leaving the mall, officers received another call regarding a separate incident. At that time the teens who had been barred had returned to the mall. One of the male teens was taken into custody without incident. As a result, the female teen seen in the video, began cursing, attempting to incite the other teens. Officers attempted to take her into custody, at which time she began to fight and resist arrest. Due to her stature and aggressive behavior, officers took her to the ground attempting to get her to release her fists. As seen in the video she resisted arrest, and in order to have her to comply she was struck in the side to release her clenched fists — she was then handcuffed. After she was handcuffed, and officers attempted to place her in the patrol car, she violently kicked one of the officers. She was transported to the police department, identified and transported to JAC.”
The statement concluded: “The Coral Springs Police Department believes in transparency. It is important for people to have all of 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.”
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