St. Paul police sparked an angry backlash on social media after a video showed a 13-year-old girl being arrested.
The video is sparking a discussion about whether the way the officers arrested the girl was acceptable. The video was posted on Facebook on Sept. 27 by Helen Dillman, who says she is a UPS employee, along with a statement condemning the way the girl was arrested.
St. Paul Police say on Sept. 26 an officer saw a known 13-year-old girl in the parking lot of a BP gas station on University Avenue.
Police say the girl violated a no-trespassing order. A trespass order states she was not to be allowed on the property until August 2020, due to her being a chronic problem.
When the officer approached the girl she reportedly jumped onto a light rail platform and ran. The officer chose not to chase her because he feared she would run onto the tracks and be struck by a train, the report states.
Instead of chasing the teen, the officer went to the girl’s home to try to locate her. She was not at home. He left and was making his way back to write a report when he heard a squad had been dispatched to the area. They were reporting to the area after four juveniles were walking around, attempting to open vehicle doors in the parking lots of TJ Maxx and LA Fitness.
The officer circled back and saw the four suspects enter the UPS store on University Avenue. Backup squads arrived on the scene and additional officers entered the store, whose owner had previously expressed frustration with juveniles coming into the store and disrupting business (Arrest Video Below).
The girl, who was taken to a juvenile detention center after the incident, is facing an assault allegation in juvenile court. Prosecutors filed a juvenile delinquency petition on Friday charging the 13-year-old with fourth-degree assault in connection with her arrest in St. Paul last week.
While the juvenile petition in the case is not public, Minnesota’s fourth-degree assault statute involves the assault of a police officer, which is a felony. Her next juvenile court appearance is Nov. 14.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter called for an internal investigation, calling the video of the Sept. 26 arrest “deeply disturbing.”
Carter released a statement on the matter that reads: “This video is deeply disturbing to watch. I have asked Chief Axtell to launch a formal Internal Affairs investigation into the circumstances surrounding this arrest as soon as possible.”