A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, teen avoided charges in an incident involving a fight between herself and a police officer.
Cellphone footage captured on Jan. 2 shows Johnnae Pendleton attempting to help her friend’s mother, who was being detained by police. Pendleton reportedly pushed the officer, prompting the officer to shove her back.
“It went from there,” Pendleton told WPVI. “[The officer] was dragging me by my hair, banging my head on the ground, on the car, punching me, sat on top of me and was punching me in my face.”
Caliph Douglass caught the incident on his phone.
“The girl was saying, ‘Don’t touch me. You don’t got to touch me,'” Douglass recalled. “Then, the next thing you know she just swung the little girl to the ground and started punching her.”
He added that the incident was confusing because Pendleton was trying to back away from the officer.
“One of the things that did not get captured on the video that the young lady admitted to in her interview is that she actually smacked the officer in the face, knocking her glasses off her face,” Commissioner Richard Ross said. “When I say tactics, it’s a possibility, before they hit the ground, that something could’ve been done a little differently. That’s not a legal thing as much as it is a tactical thing, but it’s a decision that gets made in a split second.”
Authorities charged Pendleton with assaulting a police officer, but the district attorney ultimately dropped the charges and released her from custody.
“I am happy that it was caught on video because if it wasn’t, I would have been charged and I would’ve been in a youth study center or something,” Pendleton said.
Both the officer and Pendleton, Ross said, told the truth about what happened.
“Both parties told the truth,” Ross said. “There’s not a whole lot of discrepancy between the two stories. It just doesn’t happen that often like that.”
The story quickly went viral, with many criticizing the teen for her behavior.
“If these foolish people continue this kind of violence and attacks towards law enforcement they will soon find them (officers) less and less willing to intervene when they decide to street brawl,” one Mad World News reader wrote on the site’s Facebook page. “They will just wind up killing each other.”
Sources: WPVI, Mad World News/Facebook / Photo credit: Blue Lives Matter