Bodycam footage of police officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl in Rochester, New York is drawing scrutiny and anger from racial justice activists.
In the video, officers struggle to get the girl into the back of a police vehicle. Two officers discuss the use of pepper-spray and as the girl continues to refuse, one officer says, “Just pepper spray her at this point.”
The Democrat and Chronicle reports: “A total of nine officers and RPD supervisors ended up responding to an Avenue B home around 3:30 p.m. Friday for “family trouble” involving a possible stolen vehicle. During the call, the officers were approached by the girl’s mother, her custodial parent. She told an officer she feared that her daughter would harm herself and others.”
Rochester Police have been under scrutiny since the March 2020 death of Daniel Prude after officers put a hood over his face and pressed it into the ground.
Full video of the incident released by Rochester police.
CNN reports: “Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said during a news conference Sunday that she had spoken with the girl’s mother and that the city’s Person in Crisis mental health team would be reaching out to the family.’It is clear from the video that we need to do more in supporting our children and families,’ Warren said. During the press conference, Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said that what happened was not acceptable.’I’m not going to stand here and tell you that for a 9-year-old to have to be pepper-sprayed is OK. It’s not,’ Herriott-Sullivan said. ‘I don’t see that as who we are as a department, and we’re going to do the work we have to do to ensure that these kinds of things don’t happen.'”
WHEC reports: “The group Free the People ROC have scheduled a demonstration for Monday afternoon. They also held an online conference on Sunday, saying that the children in the Rochester area have to be protected, with some advocates calling for the police involved in the incident to be fired.”