Arizona 13-year-old punched by officer multiple times on video, police say it’s not full story

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Arizona 13-year-old punched by officer multiple times on video, police say it’s not full story

Phoenix Police are working to determine how a stolen car investigation led to a teen being struck by an officer - and it was all caught on camera. 

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Phoenix Police are working to determine how a stolen car investigation led to a teen being struck by an officer – and it was all caught on camera. 

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Monday at an apartment complex on the city’s west side. Officers were investigating a report of a stolen car spotted with several people inside.  

Phoenix Police are investigating an incident caught on camera stemming from a stolen car investigation showing an officer punching a girl several times on Jan. 31.

Phoenix Police are investigating an incident caught on camera stemming from a stolen car investigation showing an officer punching a girl several times on Jan. 31.
(Phoenix Police)

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“This was a call of an occupied stolen vehicle with several people inside of it, including the minor female in the video. At least two people, including that minor female, were arrested for charges including aggravated assault on a police officer,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Ann Justus told FOX 10 Phoenix.

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Body camera footage was released the following day. Later, police said the girl was not inside the stolen car but did approach the officers and refused to stay back.

Now, the teen identified as 13-year-old Taylor Thomas and her aunt, Charlene Thomas, say she’s being wrongly accused of assaulting an officer, and they want the department held accountable. 

While the teen’s family is asking why she had to be punched in the face at all, police say Taylor was warned several times to stay back, and claim she swung at the officer.

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“I’m yelling, ‘she’s a minor, she’s a minor!’ They telling, ‘Ma’am get back, get back, do you wanna get locked up?’” Charlene, the teen’s aunt, said. She recorded the incident live on Facebook.

Phoenix Police continue to investigate the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call Phoenix Police at 1-800-343-TIPS.

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