A YouTube video (below) posted on Oct. 18 shows a Metro Transit Police officer using his leg to trip and bring down a handcuffed black girl who allegedly tried to take food onto a subway train in Washington, D.C.
April Goggans, a Black Lives Matter activist who posted the video (but did not film it), noted on her YouTube page that the girl is "17 years old," and "was commuting home with her friends from Bell High School."
"She was walking to the metro gates with a bag of chips and lollipop then stopped by transit police because she had food," Goggans added.
The Metro Transit Police said that the girl is 18 years old, notes The Washington Post.
In the video, the handcuffed girl was told to sit down, but she refused to do so. An unidentified officer put his arm behind her, swept his leg under her leg and brought her down on the concrete.
"Oh my God," said an off-camera bystander.
When the girl tried to prop herself up against the wall, the cop pushed her down and shouted, "Sit down!"
"Stop touching me!" the teen responded.
The girl was arrested for unlawful entry, and taken to a police station, but Metro spokesman Richard L. Jordan said that she was not charged, for reasons undisclosed, reports The Washington Post. Jordan would not comment on excessive force questions. He said she was not injured.
Goggans wrote on her YouTube page that the drama did not end at the subway station: "In the other videos, she keeps asking them to loosen the handcuffs. But they won't. They then took her up to police vehicle to search her but they slammed her against the car. She screams that they just slammed her face against the window."
The police report said the teen was on the paid side of the fare gate when an officer saw her with the chips and lollipop, notes The Washington Post. The officer told her to put the food away, per subway rules, but she "responded with a defiant 'No!'" according to the police report.
That's when the officer, per the report, handcuffed her; the video picks up around that point.
A crowd gathered to watch and film the incident. Many of the witnesses objected to the police arresting the girl, and even scolded the officers.
A second cop walked over to the crowd, and said: "Well, we asked her for the lollipop, we asked her for the food, and she refused and told me she wasn’t going to do it. That’s why she’s under arrest."
When that explanation fueled more resentment, he added: "Little girls can break the law. Little girls can get arrested like everybody else. And she goes to juvenile detention and her mom comes and picks her up. That’s how it works!"
The DCist reports that Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said on Oct. 20: "I do have a concern obviously when I saw the video...I have asked for a review," per a tweet by a writer from The Washington Post.
Metro spokesperson Morgan Dye confirmed that the transit police started an investigation of the incident, which it does "whenever there is a public concern raised."
"In addition, Metro GM Wiedefeld specifically asked MTPD Chief Pavlik to initiate such a review in this case," Dye added.