*It appears as though officers with the Rialto Police Department in California have nothing better to do than to harass and physically abuse teenage girls.
The department has issued an apology after a video went viral showing two officers kneeling on a Black teen girl and gripping her neck for the crime of riding a bike.
Here’s more from The Daily Beast:
The video—which quickly went viral on social media—showed Rialto police officers kneeling on a teenage girl and holding her neck with their hands. The Rialto Police Department made a statement on the Feb. 11 incident on Tuesday, saying the teenage girl had refused to identify herself after being stopped for “riding an illegal street pocket bike and traveling at an unsafe speed on a residential street.”
“Because officers could not prove her identity, or release the juvenile to her parents with a citation to appear in juvenile court, she was arrested,” the statement continued.
After viewing body-camera footage, Police Chief Mark Kling claimed that the girl appeared to have resisted arrest but also said that the department was looking into the “officer’s decision to trip the juvenile to the ground” and put his hand on her throat during the arrest. The teen was later released to her family at a detention center.
Watch the moment via the YouTube clip below.
The United States is a police state. This is what happens to little girls that ride a scooter. There’s no warnings in this country. You can’t plead or reason with a cop. Once they see you, your life is ruined. This is the Rialto Police Department.
— 🅹🅾🅴🆈աrecκ ☭ (@joeywreck) February 16, 2022
“I have requested an independent investigation by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations to determine if the officer’s use of force options were lawful,” Rialto’s spokesperson, Adán Ortega, said in the statement. “I have also ordered an internal affairs investigation into the officer’s actions. Our investigation will determine if department policies, rules or procedures were violated. Per department directives, confirmed violations of policy will lead to disciplinary action.
“The officer, whose identity is being withheld due to the ongoing investigations, has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is appropriate under these circumstances,” the statement said.
In a video posted on Instagram by @sanbernaghetto, two cops are seen manhandling the teen and throwing her to the ground. At one point she turns to the person filming the scene and says she wants to get her brother. Both of the cops hold the girl down, with the one pinning her with his knees.
“Did you just try to fight me?” the deranged officer repeatedly yells before they put the juvenile in the back of their police cruiser.
“Wouldn’t happen if she was a white teenager!” a Twitter user posted in response to the video.
“You don’t escalate it by creating a dangerous situation by slamming a child to the ground, scarring her for life,” another person wrote.
“SHE IS A CHILD,” said a user on TikTok. “They should have never handled her like that no matter what the case is.”
The Rialto police statement issued an apology from the police chief.
“We apologize to the juvenile’s family regarding these unfortunate circumstances,” Chief Kling said.” At a time when our police department strives to build community relationships, we certainly fell short in this encounter. We look forward to building rapport with this family now and in the future.”