WASHINGTON (Circa) — A police officer in Coral Springs, Florida is under scrutiny after punching a 14-year-old girl whom he was apprehending.
Two white officers can be seen pinning down the young black girl. She was reportedly punched twice in the ribs.
"I’m angry. I would never expect this to happen," the girl's mother Jessica Dennis told WSVN-TV. "She clearly wasn’t aggressive. Everyone could see she was laying there, so I just want justice to be served."
Police in the area believe their officers did nothing wrong. The Coral Springs Police Department says the social media post only shows "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," the police department said. "In addition, mall security indicated one of the female teens (arrested) was seen striking another teen patron."
The department said that the female who was arrested was inciting other teens on the scene who were causing disruption.
"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 the handcuffed," the department said. "After she was handcuffed, and officers attempted to place her in the patrol car, she violently kicked one of the officers."
The girl's family hired a lawyer and doesn't agree with the department's assertions.
"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," attorney Meeghan Moldof said.