A North Charleston police officer's conduct has come under question after video surfaced of him using profanity while arresting a 15-year-old girl, authorities said.
The arrest occurred around 6 a.m. Saturday as hundreds of shoppers flocked to Northwoods Mall to get their hands on Nike's newly released Air Jordan basketball shoes.
According to an incident report, officers struggled to control an unruly crowd of more than 250 people.
An officer ordered the 15-year-old girl to leave the property. She was later charged with disorderly conduct, trespass after notice and resisting arrest, the report states. Her name was redacted from the report.
Shaky cellphone footage captured by a witness shows the girl bent over the hood of a vehicle, apparently crying in pain while a North Charleston officer forcefully orders her to stop moving.
North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor identified the officer who used profanity as Sgt. Scott Wyant, who Pryor said remains on active duty. In the report, Wyant said he was assisting another officer who was struggling to arrest the girl.
"I'm telling you, if you get up off this (expletive) hood again I'm going to throw you on the (expletive) ground and I'm going to sit on your mother (expletive) head," Wyant is heard saying in the video.
The girl insists that she is not resisting, but that the angle of her arm is causing her pain.
The video had received 525 shares on Facebook by Tuesday morning.
"This is how the North Charleston police department arrest a little 15-year-old girl with manners," its caption read.
According to North Charleston police, here's how the situation unfolded:
In an incident report, an officer said he gave "several loud verbal directives" to gain control of an "uncooperative" crowd that gathered outside one of the mall's stores.
At one point, several of the shoppers appeared to get into a fight, pushing and shoving one another, police said.
An officer reported that he quickly moved toward the group, grabbed about six people by the upper arm and pulled them out of the line. He ordered those people to leave the property and threatened to arrest anyone who disobeyed, the report stated.
According to police, one of the ejected shoppers lingered in the parking lot. An officer described the shopper as a female wearing a green sweatshirt and gray sweatpants. Police later identified her as a 15-year-old girl. The girl stood talking on a cellphone between two rows of parked cars. She moved toward one of the vehicles when she noticed an officer watching her. She attempted to get inside the vehicle, but the officer grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her out before she could close the door, police said.
That officer reported that he twisted the girl's arm "to achieve proper leverage to remove her from the vehicle."
She became loud and boisterous as he began to place her under arrest, the report stated. The officer placed his knee into the girl's back as he struggled to handcuff her. That's when Wyant approached and offered to help. Afterward, the girl "complained of pain in her right arm, claiming it to be broken," the report stated.
North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor said the girl's arm was not broken in the incident.
In the video, her cries can be heard as she begs Wyant to adjust the handcuffs and the positioning of her arm.
"Sir, my arm is hurting. ... I did not resist, but my arm is hurting," she said.
The girl's cellphone was tossed aside and damaged in the incident, police said.
In a statement, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers referred to the officer's language as "profane."
The police department's Office of Professional Standards initiated an investigation into the arrest, and the video has been obtained by investigators, Driggers said.
"At this time the investigation is not complete, but the language used in the video is not acceptable by department policy or our standard of professional conduct," Driggers said in the statement.
To view the video, click the link below.
WARNING: THE VIDEO AT THE FACEBOOK PAGE LINK CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.