Witnesses accuse SFPD of excessive force against girl, police say she spat on officers

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Witnesses accuse police of using excessive force on a juvenile girl Monday afternoon, while the department alleged she "assaulted two officers by spitting in their faces."

Police spokesman David Steveonson added in a statement on Tuesday: "Use of force occurred to prevent the subject from spitting at the officers again."

According to the SFPD, police tried to arrest the girl - who was wanted on a warrant for multiple burglaries. She resisted, police said, and there was a struggle about 1 p.m. at Downtown Smoke and Vapes on Market Street.

Onlookers shouted at police after they say officers slammed the handcuffed girl onto the sidewalk and then a car before she reportedly went limp and was taken away by an ambulance. 

At least two separate witnesses told KTVU the girl was already in handcuffs when a male officer punched her. A community guide with Central Market Community Benefit District said the girl was "knocked out."

Skylar Clarke, a student in San Francisco, said she also witnessed part of the incident. She said she saw the officer punch the girl while she was cuffed, outside a store called Discount Cigarettes, but said the girl was not "thrashing" while detained.%INLINE%

The girl was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and has since been released, police said. Stevenson said she was charged for resisting arrest and two counts of assault on police officers, as well as the original arrest warrant for multiple counts of burglary.

Police added that a man was also arrested for obstructing police from their duties. Specifics on that were not made public.