Philadelphia Cop Who Punched Teen is Under Investigation

By Sameer Rao Jan 04, 2017

A Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) officer faces an internal investigation after video surfaced of her sitting on and punching a teenage girl while responding to a fight. 


The cell phone video above, circulated widely on social media, shows a still-unidentified officer pushing a teenage girl away from a group of officers who were arresting someone else. The officer and teen, identified by local channel 6 ABC as 16-year-old Johnnae Pendleton, appear to push and swat each other’s arms away. The camera then pans away for a few seconds before returning to the officer, who throws Pendleton on the ground, straddles and punches her.

The local station reported yesterday (January 3) that the altercation was filmed Monday (January 2) afternoon. Pendleton told the outlet that she was trying to help her friend’s mother, who was being arrested. She said that’s when the officer pushed her away. "She was dragging me by my hair, banging my head on the ground, on the car, punching me, sat on top of me and was punching me in my face."

"There wasn’t no need for all of that, like she used too much aggression for a kid," said Caliph Douglass, who the newscast identified as the witness who filmed the incident.

PPD commissioner Richard Ross told 6 ABC and CBS 3 that the video doesn’t show Pendleton knocking the officer’s glasses off her face, and he said that both parties admitted to police that they struck each other. Ross confirmed that the officer’s tactics face will internal review while she serves desk duty.

Pendleton was initially charged with assaulting the officer, but the district attorney dropped the charges yesterday.