PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department has released body camera footage of an incident that happened Monday in which an officer is seen punching a 13-year-old girl while trying to take her into custody.
The release comes after a viral video was posted on social media showing the officer hitting the teen, drawing outrage from some online.
Watch the police body camera video of the incident in the player above. *Warning: Some of the language heard in the video is graphic and may not be suitable for all audiences.*
Phoenix police say that around 4:30 p.m. Monday a caller reported to 911 that they were following their car which had been stolen.
Officers located the car at an apartment complex near 59th Avenue and McDowell Road a short time later.
Four men got out of the car and police were attempting to take them into custody when they say a group of people began gathering around, filming the incident.
Other officers at the scene began telling the onlookers that they needed to give the officers space during the arrests. At that time, one of the men being arrested, 25-year-old Javon Johnson, allegedly punched an officer in the face and grabbed onto the officer’s gun, according to police.
A female, later determined to be 13 years old, approached the officers as they were still detaining people. Officers say the teen was warned multiple times to get back, but attempted to get in between officers and the suspects several times, including while one of the men was being put in the backseat of a car.
At that time, a female officer can be seen grabbing the teen’s arm to pull her away from the officers. That’s when police say the teen swung her arm at the officer, hitting her in the face and knocking off her body-worn camera.
The officer then hit the teen girl in the face before taking her to the ground to take her into custody for assault on an officer.
The 13-year-old was later booked into juvenile court for aggravated assault on an officer.
Phoenix police say the incident is still under review by the department and anyone with additional information should contact them.