Groveland, Florida – Two Florida cops are being accused of throwing an 11-year-old girl to the ground and holding her at gunpoint in her own home.
The police were dispatched to the home because someone had accidentally set off the burglar alarm. Since the alarm tripped accidentally, no one in the house was aware that the police were on their way. When officers let themselves into the house with guns drawn, it was a total surprise to the young girl who was sitting at home watching television.
“One of the officers was pushing me down and when he was pushing me down, (he) put his knee on me and the other officer had his gun pointed at me,” the young girl told Channel 9.
The girl’s father, Jean Guirand couldn’t imagine how the police officers would possibly think that she was a threat, and treat her that way in her own home.
“Someone should get fired for doing something like this,” Guirand said.
He also told reporters that his daughter was traumatized by the experience.
When the story went public, it was discovered that the officers involved have a short history with the police force, but a long list of complaints. According to Channel 9 news, Officers James Festa and John Rigdon have only been with the department for three years, but both have been disciplined several times.
According to his personal file, Festa was reprimanded in December for botching a child abuse investigation, and was suspended for sleeping on the job back in 2013. Meanwhile, Rigdon was suspended in May and demoted in 2013 and has been accused of filing false police reports on several occasions.
Instances of police throwing young folks on the ground and holding them at gunpoint, in their own home aren’t isolated. In October, a North Carolina teen was assaulted and pepper sprayed by police in his own home after he was mistaken for a burglar. 18-year-old DeShawn Currie was accused of robbing the house in which he lived.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.