A New Jersey police officer has been suspended and charged with simple assault after bodycam footage showed the officer allegedly hitting a 13-year old girl in the face as he handcuffed her, according to KYW-TV.
Police officers in Gloucester Township, New Jersey, responded to a disturbance call March 8 that resulted in them arresting a 13-year-old girl.
While officers are restraining the girl and putting the handcuffs on her, footage shows an officer, alleged to be 27-year-old John Flinn, striking the girl on the side of the face twice while ordering her to calm down.
Authorities told the Courier Post that the girl was complying with police instructions during the incident. She was not charged with a crime.
What did the department say?
Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle released a statement on Facebook over the weekend addressing the video.
“As you are likely aware, a Gloucester Township Police Officer was charged with assaulting a thirteen year old girl due to slapping her on the side of head two times,” the statement began. “The incident occurred on March 8th, and it was initially investigated that evening by the officer’s supervisor who immediately recognized as what he believed behavior that was inconsistent with the training and values of the Gloucester Township Police Department.”
“As with all personnel and internal affairs matters as well as criminal investigations, there are restrictions on what can and cannot be released," the statement continued. "Mayor Mayer and I assure you that as we can release further information to you we will gladly do so.”