The Saint Paul mayor has ordered an internal police investigation after a video emerged of a 13-year-old girl being arrested.
The video faced backlash after two officers were seen pinning the African-American girl down to the ground as she struggled to break free at a UPS Store in Saint Paul, Minnesota last week.
The officers have been accused of using excessive force as one is seen placing a leg on her back, while another appears to place his leg on her head.
Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter labelled the video ‘disturbing’ in a statement released on Wednesday and called on police chiefs to investigate.
The video shows the girl being pinned to the ground by the officers with force as she struggles against their grip and kicks her legs.
The officers ask her to roll over onto her front, so they can place her in handcuffs, but she refuses and can be heard screaming. A third officer then steps in to help put her in restraints.
At one point one of the officers can be seen placing his leg on her upper back, while moments later another appears to put his knee briefly on or close to her head.
‘She’s throwing up, guys,’ someone can be heard saying in the background of the video.
The teenager is ordered to get her up on her feet, a request she also does not comply with.
Two of the officers then carry her out of the store and into a waiting police car.
She had reportedly violated a prior order not to trespass on the property, and scratched and punched an officer in the head while they tried to restrain her.
‘This video is deeply disturbing to watch,’ Carter said in the statement on Wednesday evening.
‘I have asked Chief Axtell to launch a formal Internal Affairs investigation into the circumstances surrounding this arrest as soon as possible.’
Police spokesman Steve Linders said that he knows it can be difficult to watch the arrest of a person ‘who’s physically resisting.’
The officers initially tried to stop the girl at Midway BP station at 1347 W. University Ave., according to local media.
The BP station has been identified by authorities as a dangerous area where robberies and murder have occurred.
The video faced criticism after a sales associate at the UPS Store at University and Hamline avenues, Helen Dillman, posted it to Facebook on Friday. Dillman said the girl told her she was 11, despite police reports saying she is 13.
It was later shared by local civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstron, who said: ‘This is absolutely disgusting treatment of an 11 year old Black girl at the hands of two white male St. Paul police officers.
‘Why was all of this manhandling of a young girl necessary? This child is not property. I am appalled.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Sophie Tanno