The 15-year old girl and her family as well as the public deserve a full accounting of the incident that left the girl battered and bruised. It was also at least partially recorded on a cell phone. The video is disturbing to watch as the girl, hands behind her, was taken to the pavement face first by a New Haven police officer at the St. Patrick’s Day parade Tuesday. An internal investigation has been launched. Hopefully it will provide answers.
According to the New Haven Independent, the girl’s mother says her daughter got into a fight with an older girl. Police were called. The mother admits the girl didn’t answer questions promptly and was thrown to the ground. The video captures only the takedown.
There’s no context to the video so it’s hard to make a determination of just what happened before or after. There’s also no recording of what was being said. On its face, the video is very troubling. The officer not only takes the girl down but continues to lean on her, forearm in her back, with all his weight. If the officer can’t restrain a 15-year old girl without taking her to the ground face first, then maybe the officer either needs additional training or shouldn’t be a police officer.
St. Patrick’s Day has become synonymous with drunk, belligerent and sometimes violent people. It’s unclear whether the girl was belligerent and no one has claimed she was drunk. Yet police are on higher alert for violence during these parades all across the country.
There’s no conclusion to be drawn just yet. But the video is damning. The police brass say the officer involved wants to be “as transparent as possible.” Let’s hope so. And while we’re at it, Rev. Sharpton? Stay away.