*An 11-year-old Florida girl tells the media how police , who were called to check on a burglary, broke into her house while she was on her bed watching TV, and forced her to the floor.
“One of the officers was pushing me down and when he was pushing me down, (he) put his knee on me and the other officer had his gun pointed at me,” the girl, who lives with her parents in Groveland Florida, told Channel 9.
Now two Groveland police officers are now being accused of using excessive force on the child.
According to what the girl’s family told Channel 9, the officers entered through the garage door and let themselves inside the house, reportedly with guns drawn, responding to a burglary alarm over the weekend.
The young girl was on her bed watching television at the time.
The family’s burglary alarm had gone off accidentally, and it triggered a response from police.
Jean Guirand wants to know how anyone could think his little girl was a threat.
“Someone should get fired for doing something like this,” he said.
It took this fathers’ concerns and inquiries to the police department by Channel 9 news to get the news agency to launch an internal investigation into the possible use of excessive force.
Channel 9 has learned that officers James Festa and John Rigdon have been with the department for three years, and both have been disciplined several times, according to their personnel files.
Festa was reprimanded in December for botching a child abuse investigation. He was also suspended in 2013 for sleeping on the job.
Rigdon was suspended in May and demoted from corporal in 2013. He was also reprimanded in 2011. Each punishment was the result of allegedly filing false police reports.
Guirund wants Internal Affairs investigators to scrutinize Sunday’s police report, which contains nothing about his daughter’s account.
“She’s traumatized by it,” he said.
Investigators are set to interview the little girl on Monday.
The chief told Channel 9 his department is taking the allegations seriously but is not able to comment publicly until the internal investigation is complete.
Watch the news report directly below.