Video began circulating this weekend of police officers punching a 14-year-old black girl and pinning her to the ground in Coral Springs, Florida, on Thursday.
"Why you hitting her?" a woman can be heard screaming offscreen in the short video, which shows the young girl lying facedown on the ground.
The video was first posted on Instagram by a woman who said the girl was her cousin. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment by BuzzFeed News.
It quickly went viral on Twitter, with many people criticizing the officers' use of force against a 14-year-old girl.
Coral Springs police released a statement about the incident on Friday, saying the cops had pinned down the girl, whom they did not name, because she was acting "aggressive."
Police said officers were called to the Coral Square mall by security, who reported "unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance."
Police said a mother told an officer "her 5-year-old was shoved to the ground by one of the teens," and the teen in the video "was seen striking another teen patron."
The teens were then barred from the mall and given a trespass warning, but some returned, police said.
A male teen was then "taken into custody without incident," at which point the girl in the video "began cursing, attempting to incite the other teens," officers said.
Police said they then "attempted to take her into custody, at which time she began to fight and resist arrest."
“Due to her stature and aggressive behavior, officers took her to the ground, attempting to get her to release her fists,” police said. “As seen in the video she resisted arrest, and in order to have her comply, she was struck in the side to release her clenched fists — she was then handcuffed.”
Police said she "violently kicked" an officer when they took her to the patrol car.
She was then taken to juvenile hall and charged with battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and trespassing.
"As with all social media posts, [the video] shows only the end of the story, not the incident in its entirety which led up to the arrest," police said.
The girl has since been released from juvenile hall, and her mother has not yet made a formal complaint, an officer told BuzzFeed News on Saturday.
The girl's mother, Jessica Dennis, told WSVN 7News watching the video was "too much" for her to handle.
“I really couldn’t keep watching it. It was just too much, because it just makes you angry,” Dennis said. “I mean, I was heartbroken.”
Dennis said her daughter did not appear to be fighting back in the video.
“She clearly wasn’t aggressive," she said. "Everyone could see she was laying there...so I just want justice to be served.”
The family has now hired attorney Meeghan Moldof, who said the arresting officer used excessive force.
“It’s clear from the video that my client was on the ground," Moldof told WSVN. "Her hands are under her belly, the officer’s knees are on her back, and he’s just gut-shotting her, like one after another."
Moldof and Dennis did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.
Dennis said she "can't trust" the police anymore and no longer feels "safe in the area."
“I’m angry," she said. "I would never expect this to happen."