The City of Miami's civilian oversight board said a South Florida officer who was captured on police body camera video kicking a teenage girl in the head used excessive force, calling his actions neither "reasonable” nor "necessary," according to documents obtained by NBC 6.
The Civilian Investigative Panel’s conclusion challenges the findings of a Miami Police Department’s internal affairs investigation, which determined Officer John Askew was negligent in his duty, but did not think he used excessive force.
Dashboard camera and body camera video footage obtained by NBC 6 captured the March 5, 2017 incident. Video shows officers chasing a stolen SUV in Miami Shores after police said a woman called 911 reporting that she had just been robbed at gunpoint.
The SUV crashes into a wall and the teen is seen running from officers, dashcam video shows. An officer’s bodycam footage shows a policeman tackling the teen and then Askew can be seen kicking her twice in the head while she’s already down on the ground.
"Move, move again. I dare you," Askew warns the teen before kicking her again.
Police said the teen, who has not been identified because of her age, told officers she was just a passenger in the car and didn’t know anything about a robbery. She was later charged with armed robbery and grand theft, police said. It is not known if she has an attorney and no further details were immediately available.
Askew didn't report kicking the girl to his superiors. He told investigators that he didn’t think he needed to report it because the teen wasn’t hurt and she didn’t file any complaints at the time.
Both the police department and the civilian panel found Askew violated department policy by not documenting his use of force on the teen. However, the Miami Police Department’s internal affairs investigation ultimately determined Askew was negligent in his duty but did not think the use of force was excessive.
The civilian oversight board disagrees and said its panel "does not believe Askew's actions were either reasonable or necessary." The Miami Police Department declined to comment on the report.
The full civilian panel will meet later this month to vote on approving the board's findings. If confirmed, the Miami police chief will be officially asked to re-examine the case.