The Hagerstown Police Department is under fire after a video surfaced earlier this week that shows a handcuffed girl being pepper sprayed in the back of a police cruiser.
Acording to Dan Dearth of Herald Mail Media, Hagerstown Police Capt. Tom Langston said Wednesday afternoon the department is still in the process of piecing things together.
“We’re reviewing the body camera footage,” he said.
Police said in a news release that the girl was charged with disorderly conduct, two counts of second-degree assault, possession of marijuana and failure to obey a traffic device. The matter was referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.
Langston would not give any further information.
Robin Ficker, the College Park, Md. based attorney who represents the girl’s family, said Wednesday that he met with the 15-year-old victim and her mother on Monday morning and was informed the girl was riding her bike when she was struck by a vehicle Sunday afternoon. The impact, he said, caused the girl to strike her head and lose consciousness for about 30 seconds.
Ficker states the details of the incident, “She was dazed, then she got up and realized she was OK.
An ambulance was called and the girl told paramedics that she didn’t want to go to the hospital. Police arrived and pulled the girl, who is 5 feet tall and weighs about 105 pounds, off her bike when she tried to ride away.
At this point, a police officer lifted the girl’s hands above her head from the rear and slammed her face into a wall, and her face hit the windowsill.
The girl, who has a white mother and a black father, resisted when officers tried to put her in the back of a cruiser.”
The video, which had been shared on Facebook nearly 23,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon, shows the girl kicking at the rear right door of the police car, while it appears her hands are cuffed behind her.
An officer can be heard saying, “put your feet in the car, OK, or you’re going to get sprayed.”
The girl can be heard asking the officers, who are white, to call for a black police officer named “Zack.”
A bystander who is questioning the tactics of police is told by an officer during the video that the medics needed to take a look at the girl, whose parents were not at the scene, because she is a minor and cannot refuse treatment.
“What happens … when she’s like, ‘I’m fine,’ right, and has a brain injury or something like that, and then she could die later?” the officer asks the bystander. ” … All we want to do is make sure she’s OK.”
Another bystander claims on the video that the girl’s face was slammed into a wall and says, “Y’all going to hurt her feet,” when an officer shuts a rear door of the cruiser.
At least two officers are seen holding what appears to be cans of pepper spray. The video then shows one of the officers raising a can to a crack in one of the cruiser’s windows and begin to spray. The girl is then heard screaming that she can’t breathe.
When Ficker tried to get the incident report from police, he was told it wouldn’t be ready for about a week.
The girl’s mother provided Ficker with the medical records from the child’s visit to Meritus Medical Center on the day of the incident. Those records show, that the girl was arrested for failing to provide police with insurance information.
Ficker added that after the girl was pepper sprayed, she was driven to the police station instead of the hospital. She was later taken to the hospital by her father, Ficker said, and finally had her eyes flushed to wash away the pepper spray — roughly three hours after the incident began.
“The only treatment she got (from police) was slamming, abuse and Mace,” Ficker said. He also said police officers told hospital officials NOT to take photos of the girl while she was there.
He said police were considering whether to file assault charges against the girl, who is on the honor roll at her school and has never had a run-in with the law until Sunday.
Police said in a news release that the incident happened around 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the area of Randolph Avenue and North Locust Street, where the girl rode her bike into a moving vehicle.
The girl was found to be at fault, according to police.
Even though the video shows that she was in the back of a police car when sprayed, the police disagree with video evidence and witnesses.
Officers said the girl had to be detained during the course of the investigation and was pepper sprayed when she became assaultive.
The girl was released to a parent after being taken to the police station. The police admit no officers were injured.
The officer’s body camera footage is being prepared for release per Maryland State Law.
If you would like to contact the Hagerstown PD to let them know what you think of their actions against a juvenile girl who was just hit by a car, you can call 301-739-8577. Victor Brito, the police chief, is at x216.
(Article by Jeremiah Jones)
The post Cops Caught Pepper-Spraying Handcuffed 15-year-old Girl After She Was Hit by a Car appeared first on Counter Current News.