The police department in Coral Springs, Florida, has come under fire after a video has gone viral showing a White male cop repeatedly punching a 14-year-old Black girl who was already pinned to the ground by two officers.
The video, posted by Instagram user Victoria Cedeno, shows that the male officer is grabbing the bottom of the Black teen’s tight shorts in order to gain leverage to deliver his roundhouse blows to her midsection. Normally, male officers are not permitted to touch the sensitive areas of female unless their lives are in danger. This did not appear to be the case.
Check out the YouTube video created from the teen’s IG account was obtained by CBS Miami, WPLG and WWLP television stations:
The police department in Coral Springs, which is about 50 miles north of Miami, has defended his officer’s actions as being within his legal and ethical parameters as the Black girl’s hand was pinned underneath her. The police say the officer punched her to release her arm and put it behind her back in order to handcuff and arrest her.
NBC Miami says Coral Springs Mall security kicked things off when they called officers to report “unruly teens” who allegedly were harassing and even putting their hands on other patrons.
The television station reported that the teens were kicked out of the mall and told not to return. When two teens — one male and one female — defied those orders, law enforcement was called.
“Upon meeting with security, an officer was stopped by a mother, who indicated that her 5-year-old child was shoved to the ground by one of the teens,” Coral Springs police said. “In addition, mall security indicated one of the female teens (arrested) was seen striking another teen patron.”
The male teen who returned to the mall was apprehended without incident. The unidentified female adolescent, however, was reportedly uncooperative. Police say she tried to “incite the other teens” by cursing at the officers and resisting restraints.
“Due to her stature and aggressive behavior, officers took her to the ground attempting to get her to release her fists,” Coral Springs police said in a statement. “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.”
The 14-year-old girl’s attorney could not disagree more, describing the officer’s actions as egregious.
“Immediately watching the video, I could not believe what I was seeing,” attorney Meeghan Moldof told NBC Miami. “To me, it’s very clear it’s excessive force. There’s no reason for him to hit her.”
The girl’s mother is reportedly mulling a lawsuit against the police department for unnecessary and excessive force.
As the blowback against the department increased, the police chief later doubled down on supporting his officer.
“The officer’s actions were 100 percent within policy, legal and were not excessive,” Dept. Chief Brad McKeone said, according to CBS Miami.
The girl is being charged with battery on an officer, trespassing and resisting arrest. She was housed in the Broward County’s Juvenile Assessment Center.