A Miami Gardens, Fla., police officer seen on video roughhousing a 15-year-old Black girl before taking her away in handcuffs has triggered an official investigation into the incident, and frustration from the community, the Miami Herald reports.
The video from the April 18 incident, which was captured by the girl’s friend, shows the officer, who is Black, first slamming the girl against a chain-link fence before tossing her to the ground.
Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt said the incident, which involved students from Carol County Middle School, will probe all facets of what happened.
In a statement obtained by the Miami Herald, Noel-Pratt said: “The investigation will include a review of all actions, to include those of the officer and the individual, who was arrested. We are asking that the public not rush to judgment, as these incidents must be fully investigated to ensure fairness to everyone involved.”
Friends of the girl’s family told Miami station WTVJ that she was injured in the scuffle. It’s not clear what charges the girl faces.
“When I first saw the video, I was like what? Bam, that to a child? It makes me feel like he profiled because she had a hoodie on…he didn’t realize she’s a girl,” said the girl’s grandmother, who asked to not be identified.
Ted Victor, a Broward teacher who founded the Broward Social Network, which mentors youth, said he posted the video online after a coworker informed him of what happened to her niece.
“I was outraged. I am sure this young lady did something, but the question I would like to ask is what caused him to respond in that manner. The police brutality on young Black people has to stop,” Victor told WTVJ.
So far, the video has been watched on Facebook over 1,000 times, and has also been shared widely. The incident comes as law enforcement agencies in Florida and across the nation grapple with excessive force, particularly as it relates to children.