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UPDATE: Gov. responds to LPD striking teenage suspect

 Body camera of Officer Howley 6-14-19 (Source LPD)
Body camera of Officer Howley 6-14-19 (Source LPD) (WILX)
Published: Jun. 19, 2019 at 1:54 PM EDT
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has responded to the video of a teen arrest that many are calling controversial.

She talked to News Ten about the body cam footage, released last week by the Lansing Police, that shows an officer striking a teenage suspect, who reportedly resisted arrest.

"To see an officer hit a citizen is very concerning," Whitmer said. "I don't know all the facts, I don't know all of the context but I am very concerned about it."

Other Lansing leaders responded on Wednesday to demands made by activist groups before a 5 p.m. deadline.

Mayor Schor and Lansing Chief of Police, Yankowski, released a statement to Black Lives Matter of Lansing, in response to what the group is calling an act of police brutality that occurred last week against a teenage girl.

On June 14, a 16-year-old girl was arrested and resisted police demands to get into the police car. The officer retaliated by punching the teen in the leg to get her to put her leg in the car. The police said this procedure was done correctly and taught in training.

A police report released on Tuesday describes the situation.

In the report, officer Lindsey Howley, and officer Bailey Ueberroth describe their arrests of two runaway teenagers, including the 16-year-old girl whose arrest required use of force.

A teenage boy, 14, was arrested without much incident.

While sitting in the backseat, the16-year-old teen pushed the cruiser door with her foot, preventing Howley from closing it.

This lead to the most controversial part of the arrest.

Body camera footage from the officers, released Friday by Lansing Police, shows Howley punching the girl's thigh as she resists the officers' efforts of securing her in the backseat.

In the police report, Howley describes her move as "closed fist strikes" to her upper thigh "in an attempt to have her dislodge her foot from the door."

Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski defended Howley's move in a press conference hours after the arrest, saying a punch to the thigh's common peroneal nerve is a deescalation technique taught by the department.

However, Howley's move has come under criticism, including by the Lansing chapter of the NAACP, which said Howley's response to the girl's resisting arrest was "rushed and showed no tolerance or patience for resistance."

The group reached out to Mayor Schor and Chief Yankowski with their demands for "racial equity."

"We expect the mayor to respond with the appropriate compassion toward the Lilly family and all marginalized communities by forcefully condemning state-sanctioned violence in Lansing.We expect the Mayor and the Chief to vigorously denounce anti-Black policies and begin to vision a community where policing has radically changed to where it is no longer called policing.Our demands go far beyond firing one or two police officers," they said in a press release.

The demands were:

• Both police officers involved in assaulting the young woman be terminated without pay.

• The Lilly family receive compensation for the physical and psychological pain imposed by the actions of these officers.

• The City of Lansing establish a Community Accountability Council with subpoena power so police are not investigating themselves for misconduct.

• In instances of suspected police misconduct that the names and badge numbers of officers are immediately released to the public along with any video and written reports from the officers so that they do not use these to write after-the-fact reports to justify their actions.

• Police procedures and training use de-escalation techniques and civilian safety protocols. These techniques are enforced by zero tolerance and criminal proceedings for violations when unnecessary use of force harms the residents of our city.

• The City of Lansing immediately establish new policies and procedures for police surveillance of, interaction with, and arrest of minors. Police actions must be trained in trauma-informed approaches and demonstrate an understanding of juvenile brain development.

The group presented these demands to the mayor and Chief on Monday, June 17 and requested a response by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

The group is supported by the following:

• Action of Greater Lansing

• Black Lives Matter Lansing

• Extinction Rebellion

• Greater Lansing Democratic Socialist of America

• Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice

• Indivisible Michigan 8th

• Justice Strategies

• King David 001

• National Network for Justice

• Sunrise Michigan

Before the deadline hit on Wednesday, the Mayor, along with the Chief of Police, released a statement in regards to the demands. You can read that statement

.

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