Philadelphia, PA - A Philadelphia Police Officer was assaulted by 16-year-old Johnnae Pendleton during an out-of-control melee on Monday, January 2, and the prosecutor is refusing to charge her.
We initially reported on the video of the incident where officers responded to approximately 30 people were involved in a fight.
The fighting continued as officers arrived on scene. As Johnnae Pendleton was getting in an officer’s face, she was pulled away by a female officer. In the video, you can see Pendleton refusing to obey commands, and grabbing the female officer.Grabbing a police officer is considered very aggressive. People cannot be allowed to attempt to physically control police officers. Grabbing a law enforcement officer is an assault on that officer, and the police are fully justified in striking anybody who grabs them.
Even after the girl had assaulted the officer, she was not met with any additional force. The camera breaks away for a moment and we miss what happens, but when the camera returns, you can see the officer taking the girl to the ground. This use of force would have been completely justified based on the girl’s actions prior to the camera breaking away.
Both Johnnae Pendleton's statement and the officer's statement said that the moment that the camera was off of them, before Pendleton was taken to the ground, Pendleton hit the officer so hard in the face that it knocked the officer's glasses off. The officer responded to getting hit in the face by taking Pendleton to the ground. While on the ground, Pendleton can be seen continuing to hit the officer and the officer responded with the same level of force.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross told ABC 6 Action News, "One of the things that did not get captured on the video that the young lady admitted to in her interview is that she actually smacked the officer in the face, knocking her glasses off her face."
"Both parties told the truth," said Ross. "There's not a whole lot of discrepancy between the two stories. It just doesn't happen that often like that."
The officer has not been identified and has been reassigned to administrative duty pending an internal investigation.
Johnnae Pendleton has made numerous complaints since of pain and states that she shouldn't have been "roughed up" for attacking a police officer. Black Lives Matter activists have joined the commentary with claims of police brutality of course in favor of Pendleton.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross said that the incident was ugly. Police have recommended charges against Pendleton of Assault on an Officer and Disorderly Conduct. However, all charges against Pendleton have been dropped. This just sends a message to offenders that it's OK to fight with police.
"I am happy that it was caught on video because if it wasn't, I would have been charged and I would've been in a youth study center or something," Pendleton said.
The evidence seems clear, this officer did not use excessive force when responding to an attack and the violator committed a crime by assaulting the officer.
Do you think that prosecutors should be able to give people a free pass to assault police officers? Please let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.