ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - A widely viewed video on social media showing the arrest of a 13-year-old girl in St. Paul is causing quite a stir. In a press conference Thursday, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter further explained his call for an internal investigation, but warns of not rushing to judgement of the police or the girl.
“The relationship between our officers and our neighbors is a critical public safety asset that we have to protect and preserve at all times,” said Mayor Carter.
Wednesday evening, Mayor Carter ordered an internal affairs investigation into the restraint arrest of a 13-year-old girl. He says he’s responding to a public outcry. He’s also trying to keep the peace between community and police.
“That’s why we need an investigation, so we can get to the bottom of exactly what happened, exactly why and all work together to ensure we don’t see videos like that again,” said Carter.
Police say the girl is well known to them with previous arrests for assault, disorderly conduct, theft from person, auto theft, fleeing police, obstructing the legal process and trespassing.
St. Paul police say she was resisting being taken into custody by kicking, punching and scratching.
The incident began when police spotted her at the BP station at Hamline and University, where she’s been legally banned until next August because of problems. She ran away from police and they found her hiding in the UPS store across the street.
The gas station is a deeper part of the story. In late July, the city sent a letter to its owner, that it was recommending revoking its license to sell gas and tobacco, effectively shutting it down. Police say the 13-year-old is part of a group that has caused problems there. The mayor is focusing on not rushing to villainize her or the police.
“Before we have a full reading of the facts we don’t know, what we do know is we’re committed to transparency,” said Carter. “We’re committed to accountability and we’re committed to getting to the bottom of this. We just don’t have them yet.”