This video is tough to watch.
A police body camera in Hagerstown, Maryland shows officers detaining and eventually pepper spraying a 15-year-old girl after she had been handcuffed, and it’s creating mass controversy.
The girl (whose name is being kept out of the press) was allegedly biking down a street in Hagerstown when she ran a red light and hit a car. The impact was apparently so hard she briefly knocked herself out.
When she regained consciousness, she tried to continue on her way, but bystanders prevented her from leaving for fear of her own safety.
It was then that the police arrived, and when they tried to help her, she aggressively refused attention, citing her desire to go home and refusing to identify herself to cops.
After that, police cuffed her, allegedly slammed her against a wall, and pepper sprayed her before driving her to the police station for booking.
Now, after a video of the incident taken by a bystander was posted to Facebook, the Hagerstown PD has responded with their police officers’ body cameras from the incident.
You can watch the entire NSFW video for yourself (below):
The girl’s mother talked to reporters about the aftermath of the incident, saying:
“I feel that it could have been handled better on her part, but I don’t know that she was even in the right frame of mind. The child was knocked unconscious. Why was she not transported to the hospital? Why?”
Hagerstown Police Chief Victor Brito noted that the girl, who calmed down at the station after being transported there from the scene, was eventually charged as a juvenile with assault, disorderly conduct, a traffic violation, and marijuana possession.
Chief Brito denied that certain parts of the video were as bad as they looked, though — arguing that cops did not use excessive force but rather tried to de-escalate the situation before the girl made it impossible to do so.
Regardless, the family’s attorney, Robin Ficker, told the media:
“If someone has been knocked out and then wants to go home, instead of going with strangers, and then is grabbed physically by some huge guy and her hands shoved up behind her back so it’s painful ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ this is not a gentle, ‘Here, sit here, we want to talk to you about this, call your parents.'”
This is a tough case — and a tough video to watch.
Obviously the girl isn’t helpful at all — not even a little bit — from the very beginning of the incident, and yet pepper spraying a 15-year-old who is already handcuffed and in the back of a police car?? There’s no way this was necessary.
What do you think?
[Image via YouTube.]