In widely circulated video posted to social media on Monday, a black teenager can be seen being beaten by a Philadelphia police officer, leading to internal investigation by the city's police department into the incident. Philadelphia police confirmed to Fusion in an email that the teen is being charged with "assault on police, disorderly conduct and related charges."
In its email to Fusion, Philadelphia police said they were called about a “person with a weapon" to a house in the Kingsessing neighborhood of the city. Once police arrived, there were about 30 people involved in a fight. It's unclear what the group was fighting about and the officer involved in the incident has not been identified.
The video recorded by an eyewitness and posted to Instagram depicts the police officer pulling the unnamed teen by her hair:
The Instagram video does not follow the interaction between the teen and officer from beginning to end, but we do see the officer crouched over the 16-year-old girl, throwing multiple punches and then pulling her up by the hair.
“They threw me against the car and they slammed her on the ground,” the teen’s legal guardian told Philadelphia's NBC affiliate.
But police claim the teen was provoking the officer: "…a female officer began to give several verbal commands and push [the teen] back away from the scene. [The teen] continued to argue with the officer as she continued to move her back."
Then, according to police, the teen admitted to slapping the officer’s hands and striking the officer, knocking off her glasses.
"Both the officer and the defendant indicated that they both threw punches, striking each other while on the ground," the Philadelphia Police said in its statement to Fusion.
Collier Meyerson is a reporter at Fusion with a focus on race and politics. She lives in Brooklyn.