Monaca, PA -- Destiny Barlow, 14, was participating in a flower planting project at school this week when she got in a verbal argument with another student. According to her family, moments after the argument broke out, Barlow's arm would be broken by police.
According to Barlow, while they were planting flowers during an after school project, she and another student engaged in a verbal altercation which got the attention of a Monaca police officer. When the officer approached the students to stop the argument, Barlow says the cop became physical and grabbed her by the arm.
When the cop pulled back the child's arm, it was with so much force that her bone snapped, according to Barlow.
"He pulled my arm back like this, and I told him it was hurting me. I tried to move a little bit, and that's when I heard something snap and I fell to the ground," she said. "I was crying on the floor. I was screaming for my mom."
"When I told him that it was hurting me, he could've stopped doing it," Barlow said, adding, "but he chose not to."
As any parent would be, Barlow's mother is upset.
"I'm angry at the Monaca Police Department. I'm not sure what officer did it, but he broke my daughter's arm," Destiny's mother April said.
April told Action News 4 that when she took her daughter to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh that it was determined her left arm was indeed broken. She told reporters that police called to tell her that her daughter was going to the hospital, but nothing else as she heard her daughter screaming in the background.
"They didn't give me any details at all. I didn't find out until I got to the hospital," April said. "All could hear was my daughter screaming in the background."
April told Action News 4 that she has filed a complaint with the Monaca Police department and has retained an attorney for a potential lawsuit against them.
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According to the report, Monaca police chief David Piuri is planning on reaching out to the family. The chief also noted that they will be investigating the incident.
Destiny Barlow was not charged with a crime and the only thing she had reportedly done was verbally argue in front of a cop while gardening.
We can now add "arguing while gardening" to the list of things that will get children abused and injured by police.
What Destiny's broken arm represents is the notion that when your only tool is a hammer, everything, even 14-year-old girls, begin to look like a nail.
Cops in the Pittsburgh area are no strangers to beating up teenagers either. As TFTP reported last month, taxpayers recently shelled out tens of thousands to a teen victim of one of Pittsburgh's finest.
The belligerent and violent cop was convicted in 2017 of violating the civil rights of a teenager by savagely beating him at a high school football game. The entire incident, which looks like a giant bullying a small child, was captured on video and led to the initial firing of officer Stephen Matakovich, 48, and the subsequent charges.
Matakovich "was an annoyed bully who beat the crap out of a drunk kid," Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Gilson told jurors after his conviction. "This was an officer abusing his power."
Now, nearly four years after this officer's abuse of power, the taxpayers were told in March that they will be shelling out $77,500 to Matakovich's victim, Gabriel Despres.
“The settlement, from a monetary perspective, is good. What’s better in this case was that Stephen Matakovich was held accountable, that the city of Pittsburgh was held accountable,” attorney Alec Wright said.
While Despres' case actually saw justice, whether or not the cop will be held accountable for allegedly breaking Barlow's arm is uncertain.