Over the weekend, a video of a Florida police officer using excessive force with a 14-year-old girl went viral and caused outrage. In the short clip, one white female officer has her knee in the teenager’s back as a white male officer punches the girl, who is black, in her ribs as she is pinned to the ground.
Instead of taking disciplinary action against the officer, the Coral Springs Police Department defended the officer in a statement released and confirmed that they will not conduct an investigation. The Deputy Chief Brad McKeone said the officer’s actions were legal and within policy.
“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 comply she was struck in the side in order to have her 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,” read a statement released by the department on their Instagram.
The statement seems to justify the officer’s actions saying the video didn’t capture the whole story. The young lady and her friends were allegedly causing a disturbance at the Coral Square Mall and were told to leave by the police. The police later returned to address another incident and found that the teens had returned. They allege that the young lady began to curse and become unruly with the police and resist arrest, which led to the unfortunate encounter caught on video.
The 14-year-old’s mother, Jessica Dennis, told WSVN-TV that she is not letting this matter go and has hired an attorney.
“She clearly wasn’t aggressive. Everyone could see she was laying there,” Dennis said. “So I just want justice to be served.”
If you haven’t seen it, take a look below.