A video of a 14-year-old Black girl being repeatedly punched by police has surfaced, once more bringing up online conversation about police brutality and racial bias. The unnamed teen is shown pinned to the ground by Coral Springs, Fla. police in a video that began circulating on social media over the weekend.
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
The incident occurred on Thursday, Oct. 18. In the video, originally posted to Instagram by a woman claiming to be the girl’s cousin, a woman can be heard shouting, “Why you hitting her?”
Prompted by the video, a conversation about excessive force quickly unfolded on Twitter. Many people criticized the officers for what they saw as “corruption in the police,” while others questioned what she had done to deserve the treatment.
The kid was unruly. Read the article. Try being a cop sometime. She deserved it.
— C w C (@da_crazy_pus) October 20, 2018
She's a kid. Can't they find a better way? https://t.co/mJMaxHKRR1
— Ei has had it with the GOP 🌊 (@EileenCumming20) October 19, 2018
“Police are humans and are prone to respond in an animalistic fashion when prompted just like any one of us,” one Twitter user wrote. “The attention is all on the cop but what did she do to prompt this. They didn’t just grab her pin her and hit her for nothing!”
Actually it does matter! Police are humans and are prone to respond in an animalistic fashion when prompted just like any one of us! The attention is all on the cop but what did she do to prompt this. They didn’t just grab her pin her and hit her for nothing!
— James (@Dougy7060) October 19, 2018
Coral Springs Police released a statement about the video the next day. “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 statement reads.
According to the statement, the teen was part of a group who had been “harassing patrons and causing a disturbance.” The teens had been causing issues for mall security, and when police arrived, “security indicated one of the teens [arrested] was seen striking another teen patron.” After the teens were banned from the mall, police received word they had returned.
“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,” the statement reads. “Officers attempted to take her into custody, at which time she began to fight and resist arrest.”
— Coral Springs Police (@CoralSpringsPD) October 19, 2018
The teen allegedly “violently kicked” an officer as police attempted to place her in the patrol car. She was transported to the Justice Administrative Commission (JAC) and charged with battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and trespassing. She has since been released.
In an interview with WSVN 7News in Miami, the girl’s mother, Jessica Dennis, said she couldn’t keep watching the video. “It was just too much, because it just makes you angry,” she said. “I mean, I was heartbroken.”
The family’s attorney, Meeghan Moldof, said the arresting officer used excessive force. “It’s clear from the video that my client was on the ground,” Moldof told WSVN in an interview. “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.”