Three young black girls in North Versailles, Pennsylvania were kicked out of a movie theater by a police officer after an employee claimed they were “acting like animals.”
The Root reports that a woman recorded the incident, and while commenting on the unfair treatment of the girls, she herself was arrested. The woman who recorded the video, Melanie Carter posted the video to Facebook on Thursday morning, and it has since gone viral detailing the disturbing encounter.
Melanie Carter shared the video with the following caption asking for help from the community:
“In need of a Lawyer. I went to Phoenix Theater in North Versailles on February 23 at approximately 9pm when I pulled up an officer was pushing a young black girl out the door aggressively. I asked the girl what happened and she said she was playing with her friends in the game room when officer Chris Kelly grabbed her from behind escorted her to the door and pushed her outside. The officer then went back inside and made several other black girls leave the theater. I started filming at this point and was assaulted by the officer who banged my head on the concrete while placing his knee in my back and placed under arrest although I broke no laws. I’m asking the community to help me seek justice.”
The video starts off with the police officer asking Melanie Carter if she,“ had a lighter by any chance?” She responded, “Absolutely not.”
She then focused her attention on the three girls who appear to be exchanging words with employee of the theatre. While smoking his cigarette the officer claims that he has been watching the girls on a camera and they “have been problems since they walked in.”
The theatre employee suggests that if one of the girls separates herself from the other two, she can be allowed back in.
Melanie Carter exchanged words with the theater employee:
Carter: “They called our children animals.”
Jason: “Yeah, because they’re behaving like an animal.”
Carter: “They called our children animals. They’re doing the very same thing the rest of these kids are doing in here.”
Carter then comments on the matter saying, “See how they treat our kids? Calling them animals.” The officer grew angry at Carter’s comments demanding that she leave immediately. Carter refuses to leave explaining that she did nothing wrong and her children are inside of the theater. The officer rushes towards Carter and handcuffs her. She drops the camera and it falls to the ground.
“Look at him. I didn’t break any laws,” Melanie Carter exclaimed.
The officer reportedly filed four charges against Carter, including resisting arrest, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and defiant trespass.
According to KDKA, the North Versailles police officer’s actions are being questioned after Carter’s video of her controversial arrest gained more than one million views on Facebook.
As for the movie theater employee who called the teen girls animals, the tmovie theater posted the following statement on their Facebook page Friday:
“We are aware of this incident and after an internal investigation, we determined that the manager’s conduct does not reflect our values, his training, or our policies. This is certainly not the way we treat people, and this manager has been relieved of his duties. The off-duty police officer is not an employee of our company, and his actions have been reported to his superiors.”