- A video circulating online appears to show police in Coral Springs, Florida, pinning a 14-year-old girl to the ground and punching her.
- In a statement on Twitter, authorities said they were responding to a call about “unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance” outside a mall.
- Authorities said the girl exhibited “aggressive behavior” and “resisted arrest, and in order to have her comply she was struck in the side.”
- People think the footage is an upsetting example of police brutality.
- “It was just too much because it just makes you angry,” Jessica Dennis, the girl’s mother, said of the video.
A viral video appears to show police in Coral Springs, Florida, pinning an unnamed 14-year-old black girl to the ground and punching her. The video was first posted to Instagram by Victoria Cedeno, who said she is the girl’s cousin.
In the video – which had over 6,000 views at the time of this post – someone off camera can be heard shouting, “Why are you hitting her? She can’t do it. She can’t do that. Her hand’s underneath her.”
The video also picked up steam on Twitter.
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
“OUTRAGEOUS! This is a Coral Springs police officer repeatedly punching a 14-YEAR-OLD BLACK GIRL,” one user wrote. “This is WHY WE KNEEL!! RETWEET THIS!”
People found the video to be upsetting
Some thought it was an unnecessary use of force.
My question again WHAT DID SHE DO? for him to punch her like that!!
— Tally Kimble (@TK99213731) October 19, 2018
This is a child.
— Polly Ticks (@PTicks2) October 19, 2018
— CrYptLander… (@InvestorMx) October 20, 2018
Many said the video perfectly illustrated the importance of kneeling for the national anthem to call attention to police brutality and racial injustice, as popularized by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016.
For those of who think POLICE BRUTALITY isn't a thing!!!
— Lia (@Strickland4all) October 19, 2018
Why I'm with Kap! @Kaepernick7
— Utah Cruz (@UtahCruz) October 19, 2018
Keep Kneeling peeps. Awful. https://t.co/ZILzQHyX8e
— Dava Roopchand (@Dava73) October 21, 2018
The Coral Springs Police Department said the video ‘only shows the end of the story’
On Thursday, the Coral Springs Police Department released a statement on Twitter addressing the situation.
In the post, the police department said the viral video is misleading. “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 said.
— Coral Springs Police (@CoralSpringsPD) October 19, 2018
The authorities said they were responding to a call about “unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance” outside a mall. In the post, they said the girl in the video had been “seen striking another teen patron.”
According to the police, the teens were given a trespass warning, but they later returned to the mall.
One male teen was then “taken into custody without incident. That’s when the girl in the video “began cursing, attempting to incite the other teens.”
The police statement said the 14-year-old girl had exhibited “aggressive behavior” and “resisted arrest, and in order to have her comply she was struck in the side.”
Police said that as they put the girl in a patrol car, she “violently kicked” one officer. Per the statement, she was arrested, identified, and brought to a juvenile assessment center.
Speaking to Fox-affiliated WSVN, the girl’s mother, Jessica Dennis, said she didn’t understand how this could happen.
“She clearly wasn’t aggressive,” she said. “Everyone could see she was laying there, so I just want justice to be served.”
Dennis and her daughter have hired attorney Meeghan Moldof, who said the officer who punched the girl used excessive force. Dennis said the video was hard for her to watch and made her feel like she “can’t trust” local police.
“I really couldn’t keep watching it. It was just too much, because it just makes you angry,” she said. “I mean, I was heartbroken.”
This incident isn’t the first of its kind. Earlier this year, two white police officers who pepper-sprayed a 16-year-old black teenager who was suspected of skipping school defended their actions by saying he was giving them “attitude.” In July, a Chicago police officer was under investigation after threatening to jail two black men for walking in the street.
Cedeno didn’t immediately return INSIDER’s request for comment.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.