A video of a police officer in Coral Springs, Florida repeatedly punching a 14-year-old girl went viral Friday and was shared on Instagram by activist and journalist Shaun King.
The girl is black. The police officer, who has not yet been identified, is white.
Coral Springs is located on Florida’s east, or Atlantic coast, immediately south of Parkland.
“CALL THE #CORALSPRINGSPD: 954-344-1800 Demand they explain the policy that allows them to mercilessly punch a 14-year-old girl,” King wrote.
The very brief video was a re-post of an original that was shared Friday by the girl’s uncle, Michael Dennis, on Facebook.
“So this is my 14yr old niece getting Punched by Coral Springs PD all because she “back talked him.” Because her n her friends where told to leave the mall by those punk ass security mall fake cops who called for backup on HS kids, When she was already leaving because some boy spit in her face so instead of beating his ass she stood up and was walking out and was confronted by these Dickheads and thrown to the grown and punched because she couldn’t get her hands free from under her when they where trying to handcuff her. Like Really!? What cop in his right would do this shit. WTF was he thinking to Punch a 14yr girl like that!? ?? this cop needs to be put on blast and the city for not giving two shits.”
Coral Springs Police Followed the Video With its Own Post Called ‘Rumor Control’
“There is a video circulating showing Coral Springs Police Department officers arresting a 14-year-old female at the Coral Square Mall on October 18, 2018. 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 rest. Officers were called to the mall by security about unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance. Upon meeting with security, an officer was stopped by a mother, who indicated her five-year-old child was shoved to the ground by one of the teens. In addition, mall security indicated one of the female teens (arrested) was seen striking another teen patron. Security asked that CSPD officers issue a trespass warning and bar the teens from the mall, which they did.
Prior to leaving the mall, officers received another call regarding a separate incident. At that time the teens who had been barred had returned to the mall. One of the male teens was taken into custody without incident. As a result, the females teen scene in the video, began cursing, attempting to incite the other teens. Officers attempted to take her into custody, at which time she began to fight and resist arrest. 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 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. She was transported to the police department, identified and transport to JAC (Juvenile Assessment Center).
The Coral Springs Police Department believes in transparency. It is important for people to have all the facts before rushing to judgment of an officer’s actions when faced with calls…”
Thousands of People Have Commented on the Video on Social Media
A commenter on the CSPD Instagram post said that while it seems certain the girl broke the law, the manner in which she was handled was inappropriate at best.
“I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE she could have been cuffed by two grown men without being violently punched by this officer. How do you describe a child kicking as violent, but a man unnecessarily punching a child without similarly derogatory language.TRAIN YOUR OFFICERS INSTEAD OF JUSTIFYING RACISM AND CHILD BRUTALITY.”
But a person who claims to have either been a witness or has first-hand information claims she had done a lot more than just talk back.
On Dennis’ Facebook post the comments, some 2,000 of them, are almost evenly split; those that fall on the side of the police saying the girl had it coming. Others say it doesn’t matter what she did, the officer used excessive force.
This is a developing story.