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Teen sues Phoenix police for serious burns suffered during arrest

PHOENIX – A young woman who was charged with assaulting officers has sued Phoenix Police accusing them of holding her to searing pavement that left her with burns and scars.

Three officers and the city were named in the suit that was filed in district court Monday.

Court documents said high school student Roniah Trotter suffered second-degree burns to her arms Aug. 20, 2019, before officers let her up from the ground handcuffed.

Phoenix set a daily high of 113 degrees that afternoon, according to National Weather Service records.

Trotter, then 17, was among a group of teens who had been kicked off a city bus near 19th Avenue and Baseline Road for arguing, police said in an emailed statement.

A fight broke out between Trotter and another girl at the bus stop and police were called around 2:30 p.m.

Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said in the press release that Trotter resisted arrest, kicking and pulling away. She was put on the ground, cuffed and then led to a shaded area, the email said.

Fire department personnel treated Trotter and told police she did not require a hospital visit, Fortune said.

The department said in the release a use of force report determined the officers’ action were within policy.

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