A violent arrest of a 16-year-old girl by a Rialto police officer is under investigation after video of the arrest was released by the girl’s family.
Rialto police confirmed Tuesday that the unidentified 16-year-old was arrested after she was stopped for riding “an illegal street pocket bike and traveling at an unsafe speed.”
The arrest happened around 4:10 p.m. last Friday near the intersection of Linden and Pinedale avenues in Rialto, according to the Rialto Police Department.
Police said the girl refused to identify herself and resisted officers who were attempting to take her into custody. Video of the arrest shared with KTLA showed the officer taking the girl down and putting his hand on her throat.
Caree Harper, the family’s lawyer, said she was held in juvenile detention for three days. The family has called for the officer to be fired.
“If you choke a child you should be relieved of duty right now and I’m speaking directly to supervisors,” Harper said. “Fire him now, send a message. Let them learn now so that other children don’t have to be punished later. “
Harper said the girl suffered “shoulder, neck and back injuries” from the arrest.
Rialto Police Chief Mark Kling said he has personally viewed bodycam footage of the arrest and said the video shows the girl resisting arrest. However he said the department was investigating the officer’s use of force in bringing the girl down and placing a hand on her throat.
Kling said the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations will investigate to determine if the use of force was lawful. King also said his department will open an internal affairs investigation to determine if the officer’s actions were in line with the department’s policies, rules and procedures.
“We apologize to the juvenile’s family regarding these unfortunate circumstances,” Kling said in a news release. “At a time when our police department strives to build community relationships, we certainly fell short in this encounter. We look forward to building rapport with this family now and in the future.”
The officer’s identity is being withheld as part of the investigation. Kling said he has been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigations progress.