FL officer caught on camera punching 14-year-old girl

FL officer caught on camera punching 14-year-old girl

CORAL SPRINGS, FL (WSVN/CNN) - A Florida mother has hired a civil attorney and a criminal attorney after her 14-year-old daughter was beaten by police outside a mall in Coral Springs.

The incident occurred last Thursday and it was captured on cellphone video.

"I'm angry. I would never expect this to happen," said Jessica Dennnis, the mother of the 14-year-old girl in the video.

Dennis said watching the video is heartbreaking.

“She clearly wasn't aggressive. Everyone can see she was laying there, so I just want justice to be served," Dennis said.

The family’s attorney Meeghan Moldof said the police officer used excessive force.

"Clear from the video that my client was on the ground, her hands are under her belly, the officer's knee's on her back and he's just gut-shotting her,” Moldof explained, “one after another."

Coral Springs police said we are only seeing the end of the story.

Police said due to an early release, there were large groups of teens at the Coral Square Mall.

Authorities said the 14-year-old was seen hitting another teen. They were issued a trespass warning and told not to return.

Police said they returned anyway.

Officers responded and claimed the 14-year-old began cursing. Police say she was trying to incite the other teens and that's why she was arrested.

“To say that the police officer was justified to punch her continuously while he has his knee on her back with her hands under her belly, the video speaks for itself,” Moldof said. “That’s the truth, right there.”

Coral Springs police responded with the following statement:

“Officers attempted to take her into custody at which time she began to fight and resist arrest. Due to her stature and aggressive behavior, officers took her to the ground attempting to get her to release her fists. As seen in the video she resisted arrest and in order to have her comply she was struck in the side to release her clenched fist. She was then handcuffed. After she was handcuffed and officers attempted to place her in the patrol car, she violently kicked one of the officers.”

Police say the teenage girl faces three separate charges.

"I can't trust them anymore,” Dennis said. “Like, I don't feel safe in the area."

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