April 10 (UPI) — A New Jersey police officer has been charged with assault after body cameras caught him slapping a handcuffed, 13-year-old girl.
John Flinn, 27, was suspended from the Gloucester Township Police Department before charges were announced on Friday.
According to police, the girl was complying with instructions and allowed police to handcuff her when Flinn “struck her twice on the side of her face causing her to cry out in pain” during an incident on March 8.
On the video, the girl is seen lying on her stomach with her hands behind when Flinn strikes her head. He also tells her to “stop resisting” and appears to put his knee on the girl’s head.
Police said the girl was taken to a hospital after the incident. No criminal charges were filed against her.
Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle said Flinn’s supervisor “contacted higher-level police command who initiated a full internal affairs investigation under my authority,” the Courier Post reported.
“Our community members should rest assured that this incident was uncovered internally through our own checks and balances system and was not the result of a civilian complaint,” Earle said in a letter to the community.