A Florida mother is seeking answers after a police officer was recorded repeatedly punching a teenage girl.
According to WSVN, it happened Thursday at the Coral Square mall. In the video, the 14-year-old girl is face-down on the ground as two officers attempt to put her in handcuffs. The video shows one officer punch the girl twice in the ribs.
The girl’s mother, Jessica Dennis, is outraged by what happened and has hired an attorney who believes the video shows the officer using excessive force.
“I’m angry. I would never expect this to happen,” Dennis told WSVN. “She clearly wasn’t aggressive. Everyone can see she was laying there. So, I just want justice to be served.”
“To say that the police officer was justified to punch her continuously while he has his knee on her back with her hands under her belly…the video speaks for itself,” Meeghan Moldof, the attorney for Dennis, told WSVN. “That’s the truth right there.”
The Coral Springs Police Department said the video doesn’t show the whole story. The department said they responded to a report of a fight at the mall when the girl allegedly hit another teenager. Officers gave the group a trespass warning and sent on their way, but they came back a short time later. When officers were called to the mall again, they claim the girl was cursing and trying to incite the other teenagers with her.
“Officers attempted to take her into custody at which time she began to fight and resist arrest,” a statement from the Coral Springs Police Department reads. “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 to release her clenched fist. She was then handcuffed.”
Police say the girl also kicked one of the officers when they tried to put her in the back of a patrol car.
The teenager now faces three separate charges.