Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves a police officer who was caught using excessive force on a 9 year old in Rochester and the consequences of the situation.
The police department in Rochester, N.Y., released body camera footage that showed a 9 year-old girl being handcuffed and pepper sprayed by police officers who had responded to a family disturbance call.
During the incident, which occurred Friday afternoon, officers restrained the girl, pushing her into the snow in order to handcuff her, while she screamed repeatedly for her father, the footage showed. At one point, an officer said, “You’re acting like a child.” She responded, “I am a child.” When she refused to sit inside a police car, an officer pepper sprayed her.
Friday afternoon, officers received a 911 call reporting “family trouble,” and arrived to find the 9 year old girl dressed in a black hoodie and colorful leggings. She “indicated that she wanted to kill herself, and she wanted to kill her mom,” Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson said on Sunday. The girl initially tried running away, Mr. Anderson said. She repeatedly screamed at the officers, “I want my dad.” As the officers handcuffed her, she pleaded with them to stop, her body covered in snow, the video footage showed.
The officers tried to escort her into the back of a police car so that she could be transported to the hospital, Mr. Anderson said. Distressed and emotional, the girl said she did not want to enter the car until she saw her dad, the video showed. The officers grew increasingly impatient and stern. She kicked one of the officers, Mr. Anderson said. Other officers urged her to relax and take a deep breath. Finally, an officer said, “Just spray her at this point.” She screamed. After an officer sprayed her in the face with an irritant, the officers placed her into the back seat and shut the door. “Unbelievable,” an officer said.
The scene played out in front of homes in an area that appeared to be a residential neighborhood. The video showed at least six police vehicles that had arrived to respond to the call. The girl was transported to the hospital and has since been released.
Mayor of Rochester Lovely Warren, announced on Monday that the officers involved in the spraying would be suspended until the conclusion of an internal investigation, saying that state laws and union rules prevented her from taking more serious action. During a news conference on Sunday, police department leaders pledged to be more transparent, releasing the body camera footage of the girl being pepper sprayed about 48 hours after the incident. The video was redacted to blur out her face, and her name has not been publicly released.
New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo called for a full investigation, saying Rochester needed to “reckon with a real police accountability problem.”
Michael Mazzeo, president of the union representing Rochester police officers, defended the officers actions and said they were confronted with a difficult situation. “Those officers and those scenes, they broke no policy,” Mr. Mazzeo said at a news conference on Sunday. “There’s nothing that anyone can say they did that’s inappropriate.”