The Chattanooga Police Department has released an officer’s body camera footage in response to a showing a 14-year-old girl being pulled out from behind the wheel of a running vehicle on Monday.
More information under the video …
The cell phone , posted to Facebook by the girl’s mother, has been viewed over 100,000 times.
In that , a white male police officer can be seen reaching into the open window of the car, unlocking the door and telling the girl to “get out of the car” before he reaches over to the ignition to remove the keys.
The girl can be heard saying, “I’m grabbing the stuff in the back seat.”
“I’m not playing. Get out of the car. Now!” the officer responds. “Lady, if I have to put hands on you, I will.”
“Ow! Stop! Ow!” the girl says as the officer grabs her sleeve to pull her out of the vehicle.
In the Facebook post, the girl’s mother wrote that her daughter had to go to a children’s hospital after the incident because of damage to her wrists caused by hand cuffs. She posted photos of her daughter in wrist braces in what appears to be a hospital setting.
Twenty-three hours after that was posted to Facebook, the police department released the officer’s body camera footage in its entirety, noting that the Facebook only shows a portion of the incident.
The police department is withholding officer’s name because of numerous threats being made against him and his family, a news release states.
“The CPD Officer in the was at that location because he was in the process of filing warrants on a party from another, unrelated incident,” the news release states.
He then approached other Chattanooga police officers who were “conversing with a repossession agent about the 14-year-old who was seated behind the wheel of a running vehicle stopped in a handicap zone.”
The officer then approached the girl and “politely” asked her to turn off the vehicle, according to the news release, but the girl did not do so immediately, and instead began grabbing some things from the back seat.
After asking a few more times to turn the engine off, the officer decided to remove the girl from the vehicle because an unlicensed 14-year-old behind the wheel of a running vehicle in a “heavily trafficked area of town” created a “significant concern for the safety of that juvenile, others in the vicinity, and the public at-large.”
Based on the girl’s continued lack of compliance and the officer’s increasing concern for public safety, the officer shut off the vehicle and removed the girl from behind the wheel, the news release states.
He then handed the keys to the repossession agent, body camera footage shows.
When the mother walked out of the Hamilton County Court House, and was informed of what was happening, she told the officer, “She was probably just scared.”
The officer told the mother that her daughter was not afraid and was “talking smack.”
A juvenile court defense attorney then interjects and begins talking to the mother before the officer tells another officer to put the child in his back seat to be taken to the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center.
“I can’t breathe. I’m having a panic attack,” she can be heard saying repeatedly through sobs from the back seat as she’s taken to the detention center.
“Take deep breathes,” the officer responds a minute after the girl initially is recorded saying she can’t breathe. “… Well, the windows are down and the air is on. I don’t know what else I can do for you, sweet heart. We wouldn’t be in this situation if you’d have just turned the car off.”
According to the news release, the police department determined the officer followed proper protocol after reviewing footage from the officer’s body camera.
The girl’s mother did not return a request for comment.
“The use of force used by the officer in this situation is in compliance with the Chattanooga Police Department’s Use of Force policy and training,” Chattanooga police Chief David Roddy said in a statement. “Force used by officers can be controversial, but it is also needed in certain situations when safety of the individuals involved and the public at-large are at stake.”
The girl has been charged with resisting stop, frisk, halt, according to the news release, and additional charges are pending.