LISTEN: 911 call reveals officer accused of hitting teen responded to fight
A Gloucester Township Police Officer charged with hitting a girl was responding to a fight "among residents."
GLOUCESTER TWP. - A Gloucester Township police officer charged with striking a handcuffed teen girl in the face during her arrest was responding to a fight situation, according to a 911 call.
Officer John Flinn, suspended last month and charged with simple assault, was responding to a call for a fight in a house, a 911 call to Gloucester Township dispatchers revealed.
A woman on the March 8 recording tells a dispatchers "several residents" in an Erial home were "trying to fight."
The woman's name and exact location were redacted on the recording obtained by the Courier Post through an Open Public Records Act request.
Yelling is heard in the background, as the woman describes the scene for the operator.
Two staff members at the home were "trying to contain it, but the residents are very aggressive," the woman explained to the dispatchers, noting the location of three people involved in the fight.
"They're grabbing things in the house to use as weapons," the woman said.
Authorities say this body cam video shows Gloucester Township police Officer John Flinn improperly slapping a handcuffed girl. Camden County Prosecutor's Office
Flinn, an officer with the Gloucester Township department since 2015, responded to the scene with several other officers.
Body camera footage released by the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office showed a 13-year-old girl trying to shake off police officers, yelling "get off of me" as they attempted to handcuff her.
Officers instruct her to "calm down" several times.
While she is bent over with her face buried in a pile of cardboard boxes, officers attempt to handcuff her. An officer — allegedly Flinn — is seen hitting her in the right side of the face causing her to cry out.
An officer says "I'm not playing these f---ing games, stop resisting."
The girl cries out, "I'm not."
The same officer in the video who struck the girl is seen putting his knee on the girl's back.
Flinn was charged after a departmental investigation. A supervisor immediately recognized the need to review his actions, according to Police Chief Harry Earle.
The teenager was not charged. She was taken to an area hospital for evaluation, according to police.
Carly Q. Romalino: @carlyqromalino; 856-264-3101; email@example.com
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