SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Police Department is reviewing the police body camera footage after a bystander posted a video online that appears to show officer punching an eighth-grade girl three or four times outside a birthday party last weekend.
Mayor Ivy Taylor in a statement saying the video “it is hard to watch and listen to” and that the department is reviewing the police body camera footage to determine exactly what happened.
The grainy images were made late Saturday outside an event center, where authorities say the officers were called about two men fighting for a quinceanera, a Hispanic tradition of celebrating a girl’s 15th birthday.
The 14-year-old girl was arrested on charges of abuse of an official, a San Antonio spokeswoman for the police said.
Artessia House, a lawyer of the girl, denies that the teenager hit the driver. She told the San Antonio Express-News that the girl is an honor roll student with no history of violence.
“An attack on a child is not a ‘fight’, the House said in a statement to The Associated Press. She said that the incident “is best described as an” act of abuse ” against the child.”
The girl was taken to a juvenile detention center Saturday and released Monday after appearing in juvenile court.
Police chief William McManus said in a statement that the arrest of a teenager will be assessed “with regard to the enforcement of the department policy.”
Police officials have refused to release the officer’s name.
An incident report described a volatile scene outside of the event center, with multiple people fighting and spectators angered by the police response. The report said that many were “on the edge of disturbing.”
The girl was in the crowd with her mother and brother.
The video appears to show the girl a step in the direction of the officer before he strikes her for the first time. He lunges forward and delivers a blow, making her turn back and attack people in the vicinity. He seems to hit her again before he and the other officers grab her and refuses her.
The teenager’s mother shouts, and other officers to restrain her daughter.