Rochester Police Handcuff and Pepper Spray 9-Year-Old Girl
Credit: KHOU 11 via Youtube
The 9-year-old girl was placed in handcuffs and pepper-sprayed by police in Rochester. According to CNN, police were responding to a domestic incident on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Body camera videos of the incident were released on Sunday, January 31. The videos show officers arresting the girl, then they try to put her in the back of the police car. The girl is crying and asking for her dad. When the police officers couldn't get her to place her feet in the vehicle, they are seen pepper-spraying her in the videos. One of the officers can be heard saying "just spray her at this point." There are about seven officers on the scene to handle a "family situation" with the girl.
According to USA Today, Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson said the girl's parents called police because she was potentially a danger to herself and her mother,
"She indicated she wanted to kill herself and she wanted to kill her mom.”
If that is indeed the case, it's clear that the girl needed mental help, not police arresting and pepper-spraying her. Rochester has put a 'Person in Crisis Team' in place, which is designed to send a team to help with mental health calls, rather than police officers. Unfortunately, for some reason, it was not dispatched to this call.
Rochester Police Chief, Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan, said the way the officers handled the situation 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. 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."