A video (below) has surfaced of a police officer using pepper spray on a handcuffed 15-year-old girl, whom police said needed medical care, in Hagerstown, Maryland, on Sept. 18.
Robin Ficker Law Offices, which represents the girl, posted the video on its Facebook page where the footage has gone viral with over two million views.
The law firm wrote in the comments section: "This is a girl they think needs treatment so they mace her through the side window and then mace her in the mouth through the partition between the front and back seats. They do not seatbelt her and never take her to the hospital for treatment."
In the video, the girl is sitting in the backseat of a police car, having an emotional confrontation with an unidentified police officer.
The cop tells the girl to put her feet in the car or get sprayed.
A bystander, possibly the person filming the scene, asks why the girl is being held in the squad car, and another cop tells him: "Because she's a minor, she's under 18, the paramedics need to take a look at her, and she can't refuse by herself."
The scene grows more dramatic, and an officer fires pepper spray into the back seat at the girl who yells that she cannot breathe.
Hagerstown Police Capt. Tom Langston said on Sept. 21 that the police department is still trying to figure out what happened, notes Herald Mail Media.
"We're reviewing the body camera footage," Langston stated.
According to a police department press release, the girl was charged with multiple crimes, including disorderly conduct, two counts of second-degree assault, possession of marijuana, and failure to obey a traffic device.
Ficker said that the girl was riding a bike when she was hit by a car, which resulted in her being knocked unconscious for about 30 seconds.
"She was dazed, then she got up and realized she was OK," Ficker stated.
An ambulance arrived on the scene, but the girl informed paramedics that she didn't want to go to the hospital. Ficker said the cops arrived, pulled her off her bike as she attempted to ride off, lifted her hands from the rear and slammed her face-first into a wall.
"Her face hit the windowsill," Ficker stated.
According to Ficker, the biracial girl was resisting when police put her in the back of the police car, which is about when the video picks up.
The girl was not taken to the hospital by police, Ficker said, but was instead driven to a police station and booked, which would contradict the officer's assertion about seeking medical care for the teen.
"The only treatment she got [from police] was slamming, abuse and Mace," Ficker stated.
The girl's dad took her to a local hospital about three hours after the incident to get the pepper spray washed out of her eyes. Her mom provided records of that visit, which state that said the girl was arrested for not showing police her insurance information.
According to Ficker, the police told hospital officials not to take photos of the girl.
The police press release said the girl crashed her bike into a moving vehicle and therefore, was at fault. Police asserted that they detained her during the investigation, and used pepper spray only when she became assaultive.
Police body camera video footage of the incident will be released, complying with state law.