One Florida police department is under fire after a video spread widely on social media in recent days.
As WPTV reported, the video purports to show a 14-year-old girl being hit by a male officer as a female officer holds her down.
Witnesses expressed dismay, including one person who screams at the officer.
“Why you hitting her?” the voice yells. “She can’t do that, her hands underneath her. The f*** you hitting her for?”
The Coral Springs Police Department acknowledged the incident in a Facebook post, noting that the viral clip did not show the arrest in its full context.
Officials say the teen had been suspected of harassing people at a nearby mall and creating a disturbance, leading to the officers’ arrival.
According to the police statement, the girl “resisted arrest, and in order to have her comply she was struck in the side to release her clenched fists – she was then handcuffed.”
The girl’s mother, however, took away a different message from the video.
“She clearly wasn’t aggressive,” Jessica Davis told reporters. “Everyone could see she was laying there. So I just want justice to be served.”
Part of that pursuit included hiring attorney Meeghan Moldof, who is speaking out against what she describes as police misconduct.
“It’s clear from the video that my client was on the ground,” she said. “Her hands are under her belly, the officer’s knees are on her back, and he’s just gut-shotting her, like one after another.”
The police department said it “believes in transparency,” indicating that the girl became violent with officers at one point during the arrest.
“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 suspects — regardless of their age or gender.”
[Featured image: video screenshot]