The People Vs Popcaan
The Hagerstown Police Department is under heavy fire after a video went viral of officers spraying pepper spray into the back of a police cruiser where a biracial teenage girl was handcuffed, according to Herald-Mail Media. The 15-year-old girl was struck by a car on Sunday while riding her bike, after which she hit her head and passed out for half a minute. Ambulances were called, but the girl said she didn’t want to go to a hospital. Police officers grabbed her off her bike as she tried to ride away and slammed her face into a nearby windowsill, eventually cuffing her hands. Panicked, the girl resisted officers as they attempted to push her into the back of the cruiser. She can be heard in the video repeatedly requesting for the presence of a black officer named “Zach.” “All we want to do is make sure she’s OK,” one officer tells a bystander, explaining that the girl might have lingering brain damage from the collision. Not even a minute later, an officer can be heard telling the girl to “put your feet in the car, OK, or you’re going to get sprayed.” When the frightened girl does not immediately comply, the officers close the door and then spray out their canisters into a crack in the window. The girl can then be heard shrieking in pain, saying “I can’t breathe” multiple times. Hagerstown Police Capt. Tom Langston only said on Wednesday that the department is still investigating. “We’re reviewing the body camera footage,” he said. Police have since charged the girl with failure to obey a traffic device, possession of marijuana, two counts of second-degree assault, and disorderly conduct. The girl is reportedly on the honor roll at school and before this incident has never had a criminal record.