- A video shows officers from the Eugene Police Department violently throwing a 14-year-old girl in the street
- The EPD said in a statement the girl pulled items into the street and threw rocks at officers prior to the viral video
- The girl’s mother says she knows her daughter is not innocent but she hopes the officers show better restraint in the future
A video circulating on social media shows three police officers in Eugene, Oregon throwing a 14-year-old girl to the ground after declaring a protest to be a riot. The girl’s mother and the Eugene Police Department have both responded to the incident.
In the video, the girl is walking as a brief argument ensues between protesters and counter-protesters. Two officers are seen ignoring the confrontation to violently grab the girl from behind without warning. The girl resists, but the two officers overpower her and throw her to the ground. Once the girl hits the pavement, one of the officers walks away.
The girl continues to try and resist, but the remaining officer manages to push her to the ground. A nearby officer runs over and begins to help restrain her as a third officer is seen stepping on her wrist. The girl continues to wrestle with the two officers until the third officer helped restrain her.
Social media users have been extremely critical of the actions of the officers. Many have wondered why officers targeted a teenage girl out of everybody and why it took three officers to restrain her. According to the Eugene Police Department, the teenage girl was arrested for criminal acts that occurred before the video started.
The EPD addressed the video on its Facebook page on Sunday. According to the statement, when police were moving to try and engage protesters, the girl “pulled items in the street to block their path.” The EPD claimed she also “threw rocks at officers and was charged with Riot and Resisting Arrest.” Once EPD learned the girl was a minor, she was released to her parents.
In the statement, the EPD also denied allegations of “regular street clothes” officers “acting aggressively” towards protesters. The accusation is related to the men seen causing a disturbance in the beginning of the video. “They have no affiliation with our police department,” the statement read. EPD also said a taser was not used on the teenage girl during her arrest.
The girl’s mother has seen the video of the incident. She told KEZI her daughter kicked a trash can into the street as a police car arrived near W. 7th Ave. and Lincoln Street. While the mother acknowledges her daughter was not “innocent,” she did think the response from EPD officers was overaggressive. “She’s very petite. I think that was a little out of control… especially since it was a child.” The girl’s mother hopes the officers involved will show better restraint in the future.