Janesville, WI — Kids attempting to assert their dominance and learn social boundaries will often times resort to physical altercations. These altercations are inevitable and up until recently, were broken up by teachers on the schoolyard, parents in the neighborhood, or peers if no one else is around. Now however, these often harmless altercations between feuding teens, quickly turn violent for those involved — not because kids are becoming more violent — but police show up and treat the children like target practice for an MMA fight.
As the following case illustrates, even 16-year-old girls are not safe from cops “just doing their jobs.”
Last month, Angelina Nelson was having an argument with another girl. Because Americans have been taught to call the police in almost every situation, officer Glen Hagemen was summoned to the scene.
When Hagemen arrived on the scene, there was no physical fight and Nelson was merely engaged in a verbal altercation with another girl. Letting her emotions get the best of her, instead of listening to Hageman telling them to stop yelling, Nelson pushed the other girl. This gave Hagemen free rein to enact potentially deadly violence against the child half his size.
Instead of simply stepping in between the two small girls, officer Hagemen felt it necessary to body slam Nelson into the pavement. Had he simply showed an ounce of bravery and stepped in between to girls who were merely pushing each other, the incident would have likely been easily resolved without anyone being injured. But, when your only tool is a hammer, everything, even little girls start looking like nails.
As the body camera video shows, after Nelson pushed the girl, Hagemen lifts her up in the air before slamming her face-first into the pavement. Her head hit the concrete and she immediately starts crying in pain.
“My head hit the ground,” she shouted through tears. “My face hurts.”
“Why would you throw me like that?” she asked.
“Because you attacked somebody,” Hageman said of the push which was magnitudes less violent than his attack on Nelson.
When getting put into the police car, Nelson again asked why Hageman slammed her down, saying that she was “just a little girl.”
“I grabbed you and decentralized you,” Hageman responded.
“No, you threw me onto the ground,” she said. “Why did you do that? My face hurts.”
She didn’t know it at the time, but the impact broke one of her ribs and it punctured her lung. She would eventually find this out at the hospital later that day.
Unfortunately, the physical injuries are only part of the problem. As the GazetteXtra reports, Nelson was left with several physical injuries after going into the concrete, but she said she flinches when someone comes up behind her. She’s been having anxiety attacks, worse than normal. She said her heart starts racing when the TV is too loud.
“Everything is different for me now,” she said.
“I’m a little girl. He is a grown man,” she told The Gazette. “I did not deserve that whatsoever. And especially to be in pain right now. I shouldn’t still be in pain. That’s wrong.”
After the body slam, Hageman also handcuffed Nelson’s 13-year-old sister and arrested both of them.
“Her wrists were so bruised,” she said. “She’s 13 years old. Are you kidding me? They didn’t arrest my mom. They didn’t arrest my aunt. They arrested two little girls.”
Naturally, Police Chief Dave Moore said officer Hagemen did everything by the book and slamming little girls into the concrete for pushing each other is apparently good policing. Moore told the newspaper the same statement every police chief tells the press after they are caught on video hurting people.
“Police use of force is not necessarily pretty, but it is almost always appropriate and effective,” the chief said. “If there are concerns with this use-of-force incident, those concerns are with my leadership and the state of Wisconsin training protocols.”
When the policy of slamming a little girl to the ground is considered “appropriate” it may be time to call that policy into question.