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Video of teen girl being hit by Phoenix officer is drawing attention and questions from community

Phoenix Police said the incident happened Monday near 59th Avenue and McDowell Road while officers were making an unrelated arrest.

PHOENIX — Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the Phoenix Police statement that the teen girl involved was not recording officers.

Video of a teenage girl being hit by a Phoenix police officer is drawing attention and questions from the community.

Phoenix police said the incident happened Monday near 59th Avenue and McDowell Road while officers were making unrelated arrests of four people who had allegedly stolen a car.

While making their arrests, people in the complex started to gather and film the officers.

Phoenix police said one of the men being arrested punched an officer and grabbed onto an officer’s gun.

Police said a 13-year-old girl went up to some of the officers as they were putting one of the men into the back of the patrol car and said an officer moved her out of the way. 

In a statement, a Phoenix police spokesperson said the 13-year-old had been told “multiple times to get back.”

They said the teenager quickly approached two officers who had a man in custody, which is when police say a female officer pulled the teenager back by her arm.

Phoenix police said the teen hit the officer in the face, and claim the officer’s body camera was knocked off as the teen hit her. 

The spokesperson said in the statement the officer hit the girl back in the face. 

Nancy Ochoa, a neighbor of the teenager, said she saw what happened and saw the girl was filming as officers were making their arrests.  

“She went in to try and get a closer view from this way, that’s when the cop grabbed her and started beating on her,” Ochoa said. 

Phoenix police said in a statement that the girl was not filming during the incident.

In citizen video, and on edited body camera footage released by Phoenix Police, other voices are heard telling officers that she was a minor. 

“The poor girl, she’s traumatized. Her face is swollen, she has cuts all over her eye,” Ochoa said. 

Retired Assistant Phoenix Police Chief Andy Anderson reviewed the citizen footage. 

“It’s a good example of how quickly a scene can become chaotic, how difficult the job is for police today,” Anderson said. 

Anderson said while officers came to the scene to make arrests, it’s the community they also end up encountering. 

“It’s very challenging. You can see how very quickly it can escalate,” Anderson said. 

Phoenix police said the teenager was booked into the Juvenile Correction Center on one count of assault on a police officer. The department is continuing to investigate. 


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