Michigan Police Forcefully Arresting A 16-Year-Old Girl Raises Questions About The Use Of Force Upon Minors

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On Friday morning, police in Lansing, Michigan were called in to help capture two teens, a boy and a girl, who had escaped from a youth center where they had been staying due to violations of probation. Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski explained to reporters that the officers had warrants to detain the kids and return them to the youth center. Video footage captured through an officer’s body cam shows the 16-year-old girl take off running when she realizes the police have spotted her, according to ABC News.

The girl can be seen sprinting through a Lansing neighborhood and stumbling through a wooded area before an officer was able to grab hold of her. A female officer who has since been identified as Officer Bailey Ueberroth, then handcuffed her and thrust her into a police vehicle.

All the while, the girl swears at everyone gathered, including some onlookers from across the street who called the police after spotting her.

“I didn’t put my hands on her. You called the police for no reason,” she screamed.

Rather than cooperating with the arrest, the girl is heard swearing at Ueberroth and sticks her foot out to prevent the door of the police cruiser from being closed.

After many attempts by Ueberroth and another male police officer to get the girl to move her foot out of the way and get fully into the vehicle, she stills persists. The video appears to then show Ueberroth striking the girl several times on the thigh.

“Stop punching me,” the girl is heard screaming.

“Is is it really worth this?” the male officer asks seemingly in an attempt to get the teen to see reason and cooperate with them.

Eventually, they are able to get the girl into the vehicle and drive away, while she is heard crying in the backseat.

While police officers are allowed to use reasonable force during an arrest, the line seems to have become even more blurred in recent years. Some social media users praised the officers on the scene for how they handled the situation. However, others deemed the forceful arrest unnecessary and believe they should have been more patient, particularly when dealing with an underage girl.

In a public statement, the Lansing Police Department announced that both officers involved in the incident have been placed on leave.

“On Saturday, June 15th, Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski placed both officers involved in the arrest of a 16 year old juvenile on June 14th, on administrative leave while an Internal Affairs investigation is conducted.”