GULFPORT, Fla. — A Pinellas County family is seeking justice after claiming a Gulfport police officer assaulted a teen at Boca Ciega High School.

The National Action Network of Central Florida held a news conference on behalf of 15-year-old Maniya Sherriffe. Family members said it all started last Tuesday when Maniya was getting bullied by six girls.

Ronnell Pinckney said Maniya was the only one put in handcuffs. “She was escorted away for her safety. They got her away and somehow she ended up in this officer’s hands, in handcuffs, and this was the result.”

Maniya said the Gulfport police officer slammed her against a wall and cuffed her after interrupting the verbal disagreement. “He had slung me into the media center and when he slung me, I hit my forehead right here on the divider of the door and then he had slung me onto the ground.”

Marvin Pinckney said the school was already notified that she was being bullied and this response was unacceptable. “I don’t go for that. She had no one on her side.”

8 On Your Side reached out to the Gulfport Police Department and it sent a statement saying: “We have received a complaint and we are investigating but we are prohibited by law from releasing any information until the internal investigation is completed.” 

A spokesperson with Pinellas County Schools said they cannot comment on an ongoing investigation. The National Action Network of Central Florida is demanding an independent investigation and the officer immediately suspended.

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