Police in Coral Springs, Florida are facing criticism after a viral video showed an officer repeatedly punching a 14-year-old girl in the back while she was lying face-down. The Coral Springs Police Department issued a statement Friday defending what many saw as excessive force, saying the unnamed teenager was “struck in the side” in order to “have her comply” after she’d resisted arrest. The statement also cited the teenager’s “stature and aggressive behavior,” saying she had been “cursing” and “attempting to incite the other teens” present before resisting arrest. The girl’s arrest came as a result of police officers being called to the Coral Square Mall by security guards who reported that “unruly teens” had been “harassing patrons and causing a disturbance.” The girl was reportedly later charged with battery after allegedly kicking a police officer. The girl’s mother, Jessica Dennis, told local news station WSVN 7 News that she was “heartbroken” after watching the video. “I really couldn’t keep watching it. It was just too much, because it just makes you angry,” she said.
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