The family of a 14-year-old black girl accuses Mall of America security guards of using excessive force to restrain her over a curfew violation, as the local NAACP calls for a boycott, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
According to Isabella Brown’s family, mall guards approached her around 5 p.m. on Dec. 26 and asked Isabella to leave the shopping center. She was shopping beyond the 4 p.m. curfew for children under 16 without an adult escort.
Following that warning, Isabella walked around the mall’s public transportation area asking for change of a $20 bill. At that point male security guards wrestled her to the ground and restrained Isabella face down, as she screamed for them to get off her back. She was not arrested or charged with a crime.
A bystander captured the incident on video, which was posted on Facebook.
“My daughter wasn’t resisting,” said Isabella’s mother, Pastor Marea Perry. “She was crying in pain. She was afraid and scared.”
The mall said commenting on the “specifics of this situation” would violate its policy. It underscored, however, that curfew violators are given multiple chances to exit the mall and are subject to arrest for failing to comply.
“I was sick to my stomach when I watched the video,” Perry said at a press conference Thursday at Minneapolis City Hall. “She was targeted because she was black.”
The local NAACP and community leaders called for a boycott of the mall at the press conference. The civil rights group is demanding a public apology, the firing of the guards involved and racial sensitivity training for the mall’s security force.
The family is also considering legal options.
Read more at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.