Lansing officers on leave after video shows teen's rough arrest

Officer shown punching teen who was resisting arrest

By Nick Monacelli - Reporter

LANSING,Mich. - Video of an arrest in Lansing is raising questions about whether or not an officer used appropriate force when punching a 16-year-old girl.

The bodycam video is from this past Friday. It shows two officers who were sent looking for two teens -- a 15-year-old boy and his 16-year-old girlfriend. They were wanted for probation violations including runaway and escape from custody.

When officers found the teens, the girl tried to resist the arrest. Officers are shown carrying her to the patrol vehicle. She was able to slip out of a handcuff and then jammed her leg against the car door.

One of the officers started punching the teen in her thigh. Lansing police Chief Mike Yankowski said this is a part of the officer's training.

"The training technique, the strike to the thigh, is common peroneal -- what we call it ... it's a distraction in order for her to remove her leg from outside of the vehicle and to get her into the back of the patrol car so they can close the door," said the chief.

Both officers are on leave pending a further investigation.

The girl's mother, Tonia Lilly, said this never should happen.

"It's not appropriate, period," she said. "I don't think anyone should be punched, especially for a child."

The Lansing NAACP issued the following statement:

"Without a doubt, the officer's response was rushed and showed no tolerance or patience for resistance, which police often encounter. No time was spent trying to convince the girl to comply. This might have deescalated the situation, after all she is a child."

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