The Minneapolis NAACP is calling on the Mall of America to fire security guards who the group says violently restrained a 14-year-old girl at the Bloomington mall last weekend.
Cell phone video of part of the incident was posted to Facebook. It shows a girl yelling as an officer holds her face-down on the floor. Other officers soon arrive, some of whom help keep the girl on the floor, while others keep onlookers back.
As FOX 9 reports, the NAACP gave this account of Saturday's incident: Security asked the girl to leave the mall because she was not accompanied by an adult. The teen then walked around the transportation platform asking for change for a $20 bill. She was then "violently tackled to the floor," the NAACP says, and sustained injuries.
In the group's statement, Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds said: "What happened to the child in question was completely unwarranted, unnecessary, and traumatic. The security personnel in question must be held accountable for their abuse of a child."
MPR News says the girl's mother, Marea Perry, attended Thursday's news conference and said her daughter remains traumatized by the incident. Perry said her daughter was trying to comply with the request to leave by getting change to take a bus home.
The Pioneer Press reports the Mall of America said in a statement it would not comment on the specifics of the case, but asserted that highly trained officers have been enforcing its parental escort policy consistently and fairly since it was implemented in 1996.
Under that policy, anyone younger than 16 who visits the mall after 4 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old.