Miami Shores, FL — An officer who was previously cleared in a use of force case is back in hot water this week after a local news agency obtained video of him stomping on an unarmed teen girl’s head, multiple times.
According to police, they were chasing a vehicle after a woman called 911 to report that she had been robbed at gunpoint. The teen admitted to being a passenger in a vehicle, but said she knew nothing of a robbery.
When police caught up to the vehicle, the teen briefly ran about 25 feet away, where she fell to the ground.
Body camera video obtained by NBC 6 in Miami shows the officer run up to the girl as she was laid out on the ground and then stomp on her head multiple times. Miami police department officer John Askew was the officer in the video.
According to Askew, he feared the girl had a gun and had no other choice but to begin kicking and stomping her head. However, according to the internal affairs report, and the body camera footage, the girl had just picked up her flip flop after it fell off.
After the incident, Askew failed to mention in his report that he kicked the teen in the head. Despite claiming she had nothing to do with the alleged armed robbery, the teen was reportedly charged in the incident. However, because she is a minor, her guilt or innocence remains confidential.
The Miami police department then found that the force Askew used in the incident was not excessive. However, once the video made it to the Miami Police Citizens Review Panel, they came to an entirely different, and arguably correct, decision.
Documents obtained by NBC 6 show that the review panel’s staff “does not believe Askew’s actions were either reasonable or necessary.”
As NBC 6 reports:
Both the police department and the panel found Askew broke the rules when he didn’t report kicking the teen to his bosses. He claims it wasn’t malicious and he didn’t think he needed to report it because she wasn’t hurt and didn’t complain at the time.
Because of her age, it’s unknown what prosecutors ultimately did with the teen.
The full civilian panel will meet later this month and if it ratifies the investigator’s findings, the Miami police chief will be officially be asked to take another look at what happened and that could result in discipline against the officer.
While the above video may be shocking to some viewers, police officers stomping on the heads of restrained or otherwise subdued individuals is all too common. What’s more as this case and the case below illustrate is that officers involved in the abuse are almost never held accountable.
As TFTP reported earlier this year, after being fired for walking up to a handcuffed man and stomping his head into the curb, an Ohio cop is back on the job thanks to an insultingly corrupt system that empowers and rewards bad police officers.
In July of 2017, Officer Zachary Rosen was fired after he was seen on videocommitting an atrocious act of assault. Now, however, the Fraternal Order of Police has managed to get the abusive cop reinstated to the Columbus Division of Police.
As TFTP reported at the time, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs had only recommended a 24-hour suspension for Rosen. However, the Public Safety Director, after reviewing the video, and Rosen’s past, decided he should be fired. But thanks to a corrupt system designed to protect abusive cops, he’s back on the streets, just like Askew.