MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The mother of a 13 year-old girl arrested by St. Paul police is speaking out.
Video of her arrest has been circulating on social media. For many, it’s hard to look at.
Mayor Melvin Carter called the video disturbing and has requested a formal internal affairs investigation.
Phone calls from Davida Conover’s family and friends alerted her to the fact that her daughter was arrested by St. Paul police, and the incident was caught on camera.
“I was totally disgusted when I found out about my daughter through Facebook,” Conover said. “She struggles with mental illness, and they are fully aware of that.”
Conover says police are aware of her daughter’s mental health issues, and she believes from looking at the video that they did not handle the interaction with her well.
“Especially with her having sensory [issues] or her struggling with other co-existing diagnosis, they were fully aware every time. I tell them, ‘This is the diagnosis that she have, you cannot grab her, you cannot lay on her, you have to talk to her and you can’t jump at her,’” Conover said.
Mayor Melvin Carter asked for the community to not pass judgement on the teen or the officers involved in the incident, and to wait until all the facts are in.
“It’s something we never want to see, and there could be many causes which led to it, all of which we as a community have to own and have to address so that we can ensure that we don’t find ourselves back in that situation,” Carter said.
Police say they have had run-ins with the teen in the past. Conover admits her daughter is no angel, but adds one of the officers seen in the video treats her unfairly.
“My daughter has had several run-ins with the same officer where he constantly harasses her, and he messes with her for no reason,” Conover said. “Now I have to just pray that I can get the services that she needs.”
Police say they have offered the family resources as recently as the day before the arrest was caught on camera. The St. Paul Police Federation says it stands by the officers’ actions. They say watching a person who is physically resisting arrest is hard, but they feel the officers did what was needed to control the situation.
Activists want action taken against officers they believe are not qualified to patrol neighborhoods that are predominately home to people of color.
Conover did not indicate whether or not her daughter was still in custody, and she didn’t say if she planned to take legal action or not.