The Lansing Police Department released bodycam footage of the arrest of a 16-year-old girl, which showed an officer hitting the girl. The officers involved in the incident were put on leave.
The officers stated that they were responding to a call - about the girl and another 15-year-old - regarding runaway warrants, violating probation and escaping from custody.
The footage, from Officer Bailey Ueberroth’s bodycam, starts with a chase, and the girl can be seen running through bushes and front yards before falling. When Ueberroth tries to handcuff her, she gets to her feet.
He can be heard telling the girl: "Do you want to go to the ground? Put your hands behind your back. Release your fingers. I'm about to bring you to the ground. Do you want to go to the ground?”
The two walk quietly for a while and then a struggle ensues. As the teenager’s shirt comes loose, she drops to the ground. She begins struggling to get up, crying and screaming.
Ueberroth tells her to “get on the ground.”
He can be seen pushing her head into the concrete, but she uses her hand to try and get up.
Officer Lindsey Howley then joins them and helps to restrain the teen, and she is handcuffed.
The teen can be heard yelling: "I didn't put my hands on her. What the f***."
Howley’s bodycam shows Ueberroth dragging the teen by the arm towards the squad car, and she can be heard crying and asking for her mother.
Another struggle ensues when the teen refuses to enter the vehicle, holding the door open with one foot.
The officers struggle to put on her seat belt, and she can be heard screaming and breathing heavily as Ueberroth asks her why she is refusing to put her other leg in. He tells her it will all be over when she puts in the leg.
As bystanders shout at the officers, Howley begins punching the girl in the leg.
"Put your leg in,” she says.
“No b****, don't punch me. You're not supposed to punch me,” the girl screams.
Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski said in a press conference, "During that interaction, one of our officers used a training technique, a strike to her thigh, a common peroneal is the term that we use as a distraction in order for her to remove her leg from outside the vehicle to get her inside the patrol car to get her to close the door.”
Finally, Howley was able to push the door shut.
Yankowski stated the girl was not injured and did not require medical attention. He added that the teen resisted arrest and removed one of her handcuffs when she was being walked to the police car.
He said, "The suspect actively attempted to escape custody and was forced to the ground in order to control her."
The teen was charged with aggravated and felonious assault of a police officer.
According to the department, both officers were placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of an internal investigation.