Lansing, MI – Police have released bodycam video that showed what really happened when a 16-year-old runaway girl resisted arrest in Lansing June 14th after a viral cell phone video sparked outrage in the community (video below).
The incident occurred just after 11 a.m. in the 1100-block of Dakin when officers responded to a call about two runaway juveniles who had escaped from custody and were wanted on probation violations, according to a statement posted on the Lansing Police Department’s official Facebook page.
When officers arrived, a 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy fled and led police on a foot chase.
Both were caught, and both resisted arrest.
The 16-year-old girl slipped out of her handcuffs as she was being walked to a patrol car and tried to escape, police said.
Officers had to take the teen girl to the ground in order to gain control of her.
Then the girl refused to walk to the police car and had to be carried. Once they arrived at the car, she refused to put her legs inside so the door could be closed.
A female officer delivered a number of distraction strikes to the 16 year old’s leg in an effort to get her to pull it inside the car, police said in the statement.
Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski said the 16 year old was not injured during the struggle but several officers sustained minor injuries while trying to take the hysterical girl into custody, the Lansing State Journal reported.
Chief Yankowski said the female officer had suffered “cuts and scrapes” and a sprained hand and was out on paid injury leave, the Lansing City Pulse reported.
Almost immediately after the incident, bystanders posted cell phone videos of the officers trying to put the 16-year-old girl in the police car.
In those videos, only the officer can be seen, from behind, as she delivered a series of strikes to the girl’s upper thigh.
Shortly after that, the Lansing chapter of Black Lives Matter demanded the city remove the involved officers from active duty, the Lansing State Journal reported.
Chief Yankowksi quickly released officers’ bodycam video of the incident that showed what was really happening as the teen kicked and spit at Lansing police officers.
Bodycam videos showed the girl behaving like a wild animal, kicking, scratching, and making feral noises as officers tried to get her under control.
The girl screamed at someone off camera who may have called the police and threatened to come back and get her, the video showed.
A peanut gallery of nosy neighbors began trailing the officers as they attempted to walk the girl to the car, and when she threw herself to the ground and refused to walk, they complained about the way the officers carried her.
Bodycam video showed that when the officers put the 16-year-old girl into the back of the police SUV, she began kicking the door and fighting them.
The male officer went around to the other side to attempt to help control the girl but his efforts were futile as she stuck her foot into the hinge of the door and prevented the female officer from shutting it.
The officer tried repeatedly to get the girl to move her leg before she began delivering strikes to her upper thigh in an effort to distract her and get the door shut, but it did not work initially.
Finally, the girl was contained in the back of the police unit and transported to the juvenile facility from which she had escaped.
“Allegations or complaints against Department employees are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated,” Chief Yankowski said. “The Lansing Police Department holds its employees to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.”
The chief said the department was thoroughly investigating the incident to see if the officers had used an “objectively reasonable” amount of force, the Lansing State Journal reported.
"If it is found that this officer violated the Lansing Police Department protocol or policies or procedures, [the officer] will be held accountable," Chief Yankowski said.
He said the female officer seen in the video has been with the Lansing Police Department for just over a year, the Lansing State Journal reported.
MLive reported that both officers involved in the incident had been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the internal affairs investigation.
If it is determined that officers used more force than was reasonable, they face penalties that range from counseling to termination of employment.
Watch the officers’ bodycam videos below: