Body cam footage shows Hagerstown, Md., police officers using pepper spray on a 15-year-old girl before charging her as a juvenile for assault and disorderly conduct Sunday. The girl, who was also charged with failure to obey a traffic device and marijuana possession, was stopped by officers after her bicycle hit a car.
After she was hit by the vehicle, the girl lost consciousness for 30 seconds, and when onlookers called police to the scene, the girl refused medical treatment and continued to ride on her bike.
Hagerstown Police Capt. Paul Kifer defended the use of the pepper spray when the girl became uncooperative, adding that it was the officers’ duty to question the girl about the accident and have a parent sign off on her request to refuse medical treatment.
“At that point, as would be even with an adult, if you’re refusing to give us information on a traffic situation, at that point you can be arrested until we determine who you are,” he told ABC News.
The girl’s attorney, Robin Flicker, claims that once his client was taken into the police cruiser, she was pepper sprayed “in the mouth through the partition between the front and back seats. They do not seatbelt her and never take her to the hospital for treatment.”
The girl was kept at the police station for several hours before eventually being released into her father’s custody and taken to the hospital.
On Wednesday, around 50 protestors gathered in a parking lot across the street from Hagerstown police headquarters, where they urged cars to honk their horns while partially blocking traffic.