Body Cam Footage Shows Cops Pepper Spraying a 9-Year-Old Girl! Told "You're Acting Like a Child"!
A few police officers in Rochester, New York are facing disciplinary actions after using pepper spray to subdue a 9-year-old girl. The police received a call on Friday, January 29th, for "family trouble" and a possible stolen vehicle. When the arrived they were greeted by a family who said their 9-year-old daughter was suicidal and threatening to harm family members. In their pursuit to subdue the child officers used pepper spray to try and get her to comply.
The body cam footage was released just today of the incident and, on the video, you can see the child is visibly upset. The officer starts off trying to catch up to the girl who is nearly a block away. There must have been a dispute between the child and her mother because the girl is adamant that the mother and father have had an argument. The mother and the child begin to argue and the responding officer tries to get to the bottom of the story. The officer then tries to get the child to come with him then. . . things go left.
The child's mother escalates the situation and, when the officer tries to diffuse the situation, the mother unleashes a profanity filled tirade against her daughter. The child tries to flee but doesn't get the chance. The officer calls for back up and then tries to put the child in a cruiser.
The little girl begins yelling "I want my dad!" while the officers are trying to take her into custody. She falls to the ground like most children do during a tantrum, kicking and screaming. The child is then handcuffed and placed in the police cruiser but when she doesn't calm down you can hear a female officer threaten to spray her then. . . another officer says "Just spray her at this point". The female officer then sprays the child who cries out in agony.
Take a look.
It's super clear that this situation could have been handled different but, can we talk about the mother's role in this situation? In the beginning, I think the first officer had a handle on trying to deescalate the situation with the daughter until her mother came over to holler in her face and berate her more.
At one point during the lengthy ordeal you can hear an officer tell the girl "You're acting like a child" and she responds "I am a child". The girl was taken to Rochester General Hospital where she was treated and released but, the city is calling for action against the officers.
"This is not about lack of compassion or empathy," said Mike Mazzeo, the president of a local police union. "We're dealing with a very difficult situation and what officers are confronted with and face and the very limited resources that are out there.
"... it's not TV, it's not Hollywood. We don't just have a simple put someone in handcuffs and have them comply," he said.
In a statement tweeted Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that "drastic reform" was needed at the city's police department.
What happened in Rochester on Friday is deeply disturbing and wholly unacceptable. Such use of force and pepper spray should never be deployed against a child, period. My office is looking into what transpired, but it's clear that drastic reform is needed at @RochesterNYPD," James tweeted.
It's unclear why the city's new crisis response team wasn't deployed instead of the police department.