An Instagram video featuring the arrest of a Coral Springs, Florida, teenager has attracted quite a bit of attention for its seemingly brutal nature.
The video, which was posted by Instagram user Victoria Cedeno, is captioned, "My 14yrs old cousin which is a girl should not have been handled this way!"
Florida's Coral Springs Police Department, however, says that what's depicted in the video — which has been viewed more than 8,000 times — isn't an accurate representation of what actually happened during the arrest.
What's in the video?
The video shows a police officer punching a teen in the side repeatedly as she was pinned down on the grass, struggling against the officer.
Jessica Dennis, who is the teen's mother, did not want to identify her daughter, but told WFOR-TV that she's "pissed."
"I'm angry," Dennis said. "I would never expect this to happen."
Dennis explained that her daughter, a high school freshman, was subjected to police brutality.
Dennis' attorney, Meeghan Moldof, said that the officer's actions were not justified.
"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," Moldof said, "the video speaks for itself. That's the truth right there."
You can watch the uncensored video here.
What are the details?
According to the station, the department is standing by its officer and his actions in the video.
"The officer's actions were 100 percent within policy, legal, and were not excessive," Deputy Chief Brad McKeone said in a statement.
The police report noted that officers were called to a Coral Springs mall for a group of unruly teens on Thursday.
When officers arrived at the scene, a woman approached the officers and told them that one of the teens had pushed her 5-year-old child to the ground. Mall security added that the teen in the video had reportedly hit another teen while in the mall.
Mall security and the police told the teens to leave the premises, but shortly after the officers left the scene, they received another call to the mall.
The second call reportedly involved one of the teens who'd previously been banned from returning to the mall, but the teen had apparently ignored police requests and returned anyway. The report noted that the teen was taken into custody, and that was when the teen in the viral video began swearing at the officers and "attempting to incite the other teens."
Police reportedly attempted to take the teen into custody, but she fought back — so the police did what they said was in line with policy and subdued her.
"Due to her stature and aggressive behavior, officers took her to the ground attempting to get her to release her fists," a Twitter statement shared by the department read. "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."
The department noted that the officer hit the teen three times in her rib cage in order to get her to expose her palms and to see if she had any weaponry in her waistband.
As the teen was being taken into custody, she reportedly kicked a female officer in the stomach.
What did the department say?
The department added that it's of utmost importance to "have all the facts before rushing to judgment on an officer's actions."
You can read the full statement below.
— Coral Springs Police (@CoralSpringsPD) October 19, 2018