[WATCH] San Antonio Police Say Officer Was Justified in Hitting 14-Year-Old Girl

A San Antonio police officer did in fact hit a 14-year-old girl with either his hand or fist after the minor allegedly did the same, according to a report released Monday by the city of San Antonio.

Officer Gary Tuli’s supervisor found he was justified in using force against the girl, who the San Antonio Express-News is not identifying because she is minor who has not been convicted of a crime.

A brief video of the altercation, which happened late in the evening May 20 in the parking lot of the Crown Palace Event Center on the Northeast Side, went viral on the Internet, capturing the attention of some national media outlets.
The 39-second video is blurry, unsteady and shot from a distance at night, which led some to speculate if the officer did in fact hit the girl.

After the altercation, the Express-News requested, under the state open records law, the use-of-force report, body camera footage and dashcam video of the incident. The city forwarded the request to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, arguing that the information was exempt from the state’s public records law because it was a confidential law enforcement record that depicted a minor.

The Attorney General’s Office ruled that the use-of-force report was an administrative record, therefore it had to be released. It said the bodycam and dashcam videos may not be publicly disclosed.

In the video shot by a bystander, one officer can be seen talking to two men in the parking lot. As the camera pans to the left, an officer lunges toward the girl, her head whips around and she falls backward.

More officers jump in and for nine seconds, they attempt to restrain the girl, grabbing at her from behind as the whole group stumbles across the pavement. They eventually move behind a vehicle, out of view.

The girl’s mother, in a white dress, can be seen trying to get to her daughter and pleading with officers to stop while she is also restrained.

“No! No! No! No!” she cries, as officers hold her arms from behind. “Let her go!”

According to the report, the officer used de-escalation techniques and verbally tried to stop the girl before using force, which included hands, arm, a fist or a punch.

The girl did not sustain any injuries during the altercation, according to the report, though her lawyer indicated she did. The officer had a bruise or abrasion afterward, the report states.

After the video surfaced online, drawing ire from local activists, Police Chief William McManus and former Mayor Ivy Taylor issued statements ensuring the public that an investigation was being conducted.

According to the report, a police supervisor went to the Crown Palace Event Center parking lot after the altercation. Based on a review of use of force procedures, the supervisor found that Tuli didn’t break department policies or need additional training. The report was also signed by a director.

The department’s policy states that an officer can use physical force or an intermediate weapon if a suspect is actively being resistant. It goes on: “If circumstances allow, officers should attempt to de-escalate tense situations through ‘advisements, warnings, verbal persuasion, and other tactics’ to reduce the need for force.”
Romana Lopez, a police spokeswoman, said on Monday that the department had no further comment about why the officer’s actions were justified.

After the incident, the girl was arrested and police said they intended to charge her with assaulting a public servant, a third-degree felony. She remained in the Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center for a day and a half before she was released by a judge because she didn’t have a history of violence.

On Monday, Karen Corby, one of the girl’s lawyers, said that to her knowledge, the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office hadn’t formally filed charges against the girl. She was not sure if the office intended to.

A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s office said the case has been turned over to the office and is currently under review.

Source: http://www.mysanantonio.com

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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