Allentown, Philadelphia, Dec 16 : A surveillance video showing a police officer tasering a 14-year-old girl in the groin has been released as part of a lawsuit she has filed against the officer and the city.
Keshana Wilson, from Allentown, Philadelphia, was fired at by the police officer with a taser (electroshock) gun on September 29 outside Dieruff High school as she was walking with a group of friends.
Though 100 seconds is missing from the video according to the lawsuit, it captures the final encounter between Miss Wilson and officer Jason Ammary, but not what preempted it.
The officer claims the girl resisted arrest and elbowed him in the chin, the lawsuit claims he grabbed her from behind without identifying himself and shoved her into the car.
The 14-year-old is seen walking towards the car before it abruptly cuts to her being slammed against the side of it by the officer.
A struggle ensues, before the officer steps back and fires his Taser at her groin, causing her to collapse in agony on the ground.
According to the lawsuit, the police report claims Mr Ammary aimed his weapon lower because Miss Wilson was using her backpack to block the Taser.
But in the video Miss Wilson's upper body is clearly exposed.
In the video, Miss Wilson appears to raise her arms about a second before he shoots at her.
Attorney Richard J. Orloski, who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of Victoria Geist, the mother of the 14-year-old, says that Mr Ammary used excessive forced when he fired the Taser directly at the teenager's groin.
According to the Morning Call, Miss Wilson was taken to hospital to have probes removed before being arrested and charged with aggravated assault on the officer, simple assault, riot, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, failure to disperse and walking on the highway.
The assault and riot charges were dismissed in juvenile court.
The lawsuit filed against officer Ammary and the city of Allentown claims that the girl did nothing to provoke the officer, according to the Morning Call, but that he grabbed her from behind and shoved her into the car while making insulting remarks.
But Allentown police say that Miss Wilson was cursing, inciting a crowd of students and resisting arrest - which included elbowing the officer in the chin.
The Morning Call reports that Allentown Assistant Police Chief Joseph Hanna claimed the officer was justified in using the Taser because of the 'use-of-force continuum'.
They are trained to use Tasers in accordance with amount of force used and not related to age or gender.
A taser gun is an electroshock weapon that uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles. Its manufacturer Taser International calls the effects "neuromuscular incapacitation".
Anybody struck by a Taser gun experiences stimulation of hir or her sensory nerves and motor nerves, resulting in strong involuntary muscle contractions.
Tasers do not rely on pain compliance except when used in Drive Stun mode and are thus preferred over non-Taser stun guns and other electronic control weapons.