- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2020

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A Syracuse police officer suspended this year for shoving a man in the face has been placed on unpaid leave following an investigation into an earlier incident involving the arrest of a 13-year-old girl.

Syracuse.com reported Friday that Officer Michael Birklin was placed on unpaid leave for two days for violating the department’s policies on demeanor and de-escalation in the August arrest.

Police said Birklin had been pulling over a stolen car when the car stopped and the girl - a passenger in the car - fled. He chased the girl down and arrested her, the news outlet reported.

The girl’s mother disputed the police account, telling CNYCentral the officer used unnecessary force and slammed her daughter’s face into the street.

It was not immediately clear whether Birklin had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Birklin previously was suspended 15 days for violating department policies when he shoved a man in the face. Video of that September incident was posted on Facebook, and police later released body camera footage of the encounter. None of the officers involved documented the use of force in their reports on to the incident, Syracuse.com reported.

Police told The Associated Press on Friday that body camera footage from the earlier case will not yet be released because the investigation remains open.

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