Rochester police in New York said they were “required” to pepper spray a 9-year-old girl Friday because she refused to place her legs inside the patrol car as they were trying to shove her inside for her own “safety.”
The girl did not commit a crime but was having some type of disagreement with her mother before she ran off. When cops confronted her, they tried to place her in the patrol car but she resisted, telling them, “I want my dad.”
The cops had shown up to the house to investigate a complaint of a stolen vehicle when the mother told the cops the girl was having issues and that she “feared her daughter would harm herself and others,” according to the Democrat & Chronicle.
So naturally the cops had to harm her before she could harm herself.
But they did not want anybody watching them do it.
“Hey, get back in your house!” a cop yells at a witness who had stepped out to see what was going on.
Then later in the video, the cops continue to threaten somebody with arrest for apparently doing nothing more than watching.
“What are you doing? Cause you’re going to go to jail now too,” a cop tells the person watching.
Police claim the girl had kicked them which is why they had to get aggressive with her but the video shows they were the ones who became aggressive first.
After several minutes of struggling, they placed her in the back of the car but she kept her legs out, still telling them she wants to see her father.
“Stop acting like a child!” a cop berates her during the struggle before she was pepper sprayed.
But now the incident has outraged politicians in Rochester who are demanding to know why police believed they had no choice but to pepper spray her. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said she was “deeply troubled” by the incident.
Pepper spray can leave lasting damage on people, especially children, according to North Carolina Health News.
“Any chemicals in your eyes, nose or lungs isn’t good, but it’s especially worrisome for kids because their organs are still developing,” said Purvi S. Parikh, an immunologist who specializes in pediatric health at New York University Langone Health. “It has the potential of causing long-term effects.”
A child may develop neurological effects, such as nerve or brain damage, she said.
They may develop lung problems from the exposure such as asthma, according to Parikh, or allergies if the chemical enters their upper respiratory tract.
“There might be other effects that we don’t even know about, because it hasn’t been studied that much,” she added. “It’s not a common situation where people would spray kids.”
This is how the Democrat & Chronicle described the incident:
Officers were called to a home on Avenue B at 3:30 p.m. Friday for “family trouble,” involving a potentially stolen vehicle. During the call, officers were approached by the custodial parent of a minor, who told the officer she feared her daughter would harm herself and others.
The child ran away from the home and was apprehended on nearby Harris Street. “The minor became agitated when she saw her custodial parent,” an RPD release stated
The child pulled away and then kicked at officers, police said. This action “required” an officer to taken the minor down to the ground. Then “for the minor’s safety and at the request of the custodial parent on scene,” the child was handcuffed and put in the back of a police car as they waited for an American Medical Response ambulance to arrive.
Again, police said the girl refused to listen to police and disobeyed multiple commands to put her feet in the car. “This required an officer to use an irritant on the minor,” police said.
When the Rochester newspaper asked police what policies “required” them to pepper spray a child, they clammed up.
“The incident is under review at this time. We will comment on this question after all BWC video and procedures have been reviewed,” said Rochester Police Captain Mark Mura.
The pepper spraying takes place towards the end of the video posted above.
UPDATE: The video posted below shows what took place before the cops confronted the girl. It shows one cop chasing after her and catching up to her but he does not overly aggressive at first.
The girl is very distraught and angry at her mother. When the cop asks her why she is so upset, she accuses her mother of stabbing her father.
But the mother who is listening nearby denies the allegation and begins yelling at her daughter, escalating the interaction. The girl claims she saw her father holding his stomach which was bleeding. The mother claims the blood belonged to her.
The girl makes it clear she does not want to go back to her mother and it’s obvious why.
“Who the fuck are you talking to like that?” the mother repeatedly asks the daughter as the cop is trying to walk the girl away.
The mother then begins yelling at witnesses, telling them, “You can suck my dick!”.
The cop hands her to another cop telling him to place her in his car which is when says she is not going into the car because she wants to see her father.
That is when things took an aggressive turn which is where the above video picks up but the video below includes footage from both cops during the struggle.
It is not clear at this time if Rochester police have looked into the allegations that the mother stabbed the father.