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UPDATE: Police report shines light on controversial arrest of teen

Posted at 2:15 PM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 05:19:43-04

LANSING, Mich. — A case report released Tuesday by Lansing Police shines more light on the controversial arrest of a black teenage girl by two white officers last week on Dakin Street.

In the report, officer Lindsey Howley, 31, and officer Bailey Ueberroth describe their arrests of two runaway teenagers, including a 16-year-old girl whose arrest required use of force.

Friday afternoon, officers responded to a call of two runaway teens with apprehension orders.

The teenage boy, 14, was arrested without much incident. Ueberroth describes a much more difficult arrest for the teenager girl as he walked her to his police cruiser in handcuffs.

"[She] became irate once my vehicle was in sight," he wrote.

The girl then pulled away from him and was able to free one of her hands.

Ueberroth then pinned her against the pavement.

As Ueberroth and Howley walked her to the cruiser, Ueberroth writes the girl resisted arrest by "jamming her feet into the ground," spitting and going limp.

After officers carried her to the car, they tried to place her in the backseat. While sitting in the backseat, the teen pushed the cruiser door with her foot, preventing Howley from closing it.

This lead to the most controversial part of the arrest.

Body camera footage from the officers released Friday by Lansing Police shows Howley punching the girl's thigh as she resists the officers' efforts of securing her in the backseat.

In the police report, Howley describes her move as "closed fist strikes" to her upper thigh "in an attempt to have her dislodge her foot from the door."

Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski defended Howley's move in a press conference hours after the arrest, saying a punch to the thigh's common peroneal nerve is a deescalation technique taught by the department.

However, Howley's move has come under criticism, including by the Lansing chapter of the NAACP, which said Howley's response to the girl's resisting arrest was "rushed and showed no tolerance or patience for resistance."

Howley and Ueberroth were eventually able to get the girl's foot inside the cruiser and close the door. Both teens were transported to the Ingham County Youth Home.

Each teenager is charged with two felonies.

The girl is charged with assaulting a police officer (Howley) and resisting and obstructing arrest. The boy is charged with resisting and obstructing arrest, as well as malicious destruction of police property.

Chief Yankowski placed both officers on administrative leave while the department conducts an internal investigation.

Howley has been with the department for one year, while Ueberroth has been with the department for six months.

Howley was injured during the girl's arrest.

"I sustained injuries to my right hand and wrist," she wrote in the report. "My right thumb was cut and bleeding and began to swell. My right hand also began to swell and bruise from the kicking and resisting..."

The report also describes injuries to the girl.

The Ingham County Youth Home told police that she had a scratch on her right thigh, left side and left forearm.

She also had a bruise on her left hand and one on her left forearm that appeared to be old.

Along with the report, Lansing Police made public two 911 calls from the arrest.

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