WARNING – This video may be disturbing to some people.
UPDATE: According to the Lansing Police Department, police were called out to the 1100 block of Dakin Street to check on a 16-year-old female and 15-year-old male on probation violations, escaping from custody and runaway warrants.
At the scene, police identified themselves to the two suspects and they took off running. Shortly after, they were caught and arrested, but while walking the suspects back to the patrol car, the 16-year-old female was able to remove one of her handcuffs. Police took her to the ground to resecure her handcuffs then carried her to the nearest patrol car.
Chief Yankowski says this is when the 16-year-old started kicking a female officer that came to help and the officer began striking her to gain control of the situation. He added that this is standard protocol for someone who is resisting arrest.
He added that the department is doing their own internal investigation into the situation.
“We do a thorough review on any use of force that a Lansing police officer uses on any individual that we come in contact with,” said Chief Yankowski.
The 16-year-old’s mother, Tonia Lilly, says she thinks it could have been handled differently.
“I am appalled, I saw the press conference, standard procedure? If I punch my kid like that, it would be child abuse, so I don’t see how a stranger can restrain a child by punching them,” said Lilly.
She says she first got a call from the mother of the 15-year-old male who was also arrested, as both of them were taken into custody.
“When she called me, you could hear my daughter screaming in the background saying they were hurting her, you could hear the neighbors saying that they were punching a child,” said Lilly.
Chief Yankowski says they take factors, like age, into consideration in these types of situations, but also have to factor in what is the most appropriate method to handle the scenario.
“The age of the individual, but also the level of resistance that they are receiving as well,” said Chief Yankowski, “what is objectively reasonable on the level of resistance, gives that officer the ability to use that level of force.”
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor released a statement Friday afternoon.
“I am aware of the incident this morning regarding one of our police officers and the two youths who were resisting arrest. Allegations and complaints against our police officers are taken very seriously and we have launched an investigation into this incident. We hold our police officers to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.Lansing Mayor Andy Schor
The 16-year-old is now at the Ingham County Youth Home where she did not require any medical treatment.
The female officer did suffer minor injuries and she’ll be off duty during the investigation.
6 News will continue to follow this story and let you know if there are any updates.
Lansing Police Internal Affairs phone number for tips and video: (517) 483-4804
Email address for tips & other videos: LPDINTERNALAFFAIRS@LANSINGMI.GOV