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St. Paul mayor calls for investigation after video shows girl's arrest

The manner of the arrest has been condemned on social media.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has called for an investigation after video surfaced on social media showing city police officers arresting a 13-year-old girl.

The arrest happened on Sept. 2 at the UPS Store in St. Paul's Midway neighborhood, with UPS employee Helen Dillman uploading video of the arrest to Facebook. 

The video went viral, though has since been removed or restricted, and came to the attention of Carter, who on Wednesday said: "This video is deeply disturbing to watch. I have asked Chief [Todd] Axtell to launch a formal Internal Affairs investigation into the circumstances surrounding this arrest as soon as possible."

Dillman says she was one of two witnesses to the entire arrest along with her co-worker Soraya Dorvilier, and in a post on Facebook Wednesday said the officers were using excessive force on the girl.

She also claims the police officer she was interviewed by at the scene didn't write that down when she told him. 

"Regardless, this girl is young, and using excessive physical force is not the way that we should be treating a young, impressionable person or anyone for that matter," she wrote.

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St. Paul police told KARE 11 that the girl had previously been arrested for crimes including assault, disorderly conduct, theft, auto theft, fleeing police, obstruction and trespass, and on the day of the arrest she'd been seen at the BP gas station on University Avenue, which she was not allowed to enter due to a trespass order.

She then fled police when they approached, running along the light rail platform to escape. They eventually caught up with her at the UPS store, where police say she resisted arrest by scratching, punching and kicking an officer.

The Pioneer Press reports the video shows one of the officers assisting the arrest was seen "briefly putting his knee" on the girl's upper body, with the officers eventually having to carry her out as she refused to stand.

While Dillman was disturbed by the manner of the arrest, the newspaper spoke with the UPS Store manager, Ryan Wilson, who said: "It looks terrible to watch, it’s not something you want to see, but what could they have done?"

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