Video Shows Coral Springs Officer Punching Subdued Teen

Police said the video does not show the whole story

The Coral Springs Police Department has released a statement related to a video on social media that shows an officer punching a teenage girl who was subdued on the floor.

An Instagram user identified as Victoria Cedeno posted a video of Thursday's incident on the social media platform. It has since been deleted.

In the post, the Instagram user wrote that a Coral Springs police officer punched her 14-year-old cousin because she "back talked him" and because the teen and her friends were told to leave the Coral Square Mall.

According to the post, the teen was leaving the mall after a boy spit in her face when she was confronted by cops and "thrown to the grown and punched because she couldn't get her hands free from under her when they [were] trying to handcuff her."

The video shows a person lying face-down on the grass next to a sidewalk while two police officers are attempting to restrain her. A male officer, who is pinning the person down by placing his knee on the person's back, punches the person at least twice.

"Immediately watching the video, I could not believe what I was seeing," Meeghan Moldof, the girl's attorney, told NBC 6. "To me, it's very clear it's excessive force. There's no reason for him to hit her."

In a Facebook post, the Coral Springs Police Department said the video on social media "shows only the end of the story, not the incident in its entirety which led up to the arrest."

The law enforcement agency said officers were called by mall security over "unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance."

"Upon meeting with security, an officer was stopped by a mother, who indicated her 5-year old child was shoved to the ground by one of the teens," CSPD said. "In addition, mall security indicated one of the female teens (arrested) was seen striking another teen patron."

The officers issued a trespass warning after a request from mall security. Before leaving the mall, however, officers received a call that one of the teens who had been banned from the mall returned, CSPD said.

CSPD said a male teen was arrested without incident but that the female teen seen in the video "began cursing, attempting to incite the other teens."

CSPD said the teen also began to fight and resist arrest when officers attempted to take her into custody.

"Due to her stature and aggressive behavior, officers took her to the ground attempting to get her to release her fists," CSPD wrote. "As seen in the video she resisted arrest, and in order to have her to comply she was struck in the side to release her clenched fists – she was then handcuffed."

The teen "violently kicked" an officer after she was handcuffed, CSPD said. She was ultimately transported to Broward County's Juvenile Assessment Center.

"What you see on video is the officer delivering some distraction strikes to an area where she has her hand concealed underneath her," deputy chief Brad McKeone said. "The officer won’t know what she may have in her possession. That's a concern to an officer."

McKeone added the officer's actions were "100 percent within policy," were legal and were "not excessive."

The girl is facing charges of battery on an officer, trespassing and resisting arrest. Moldof said the girl's mother is speaking to a civil attorney to possibly file a lawsuit against the police department.

"At some point, that should have stopped," Moldof said. "It shouldn’t have gotten to the point of him punching her in her stomach."

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