A 9-year-old girl was pepper sprayed by a police officer after she had reportedly threatened to kill herself.
Footage from a police officer’s bodycam makes for disturbing viewing as the girl pleads with cops to see her dad, wipe the snow off her, and wipe her eyes.
The young girl is visibly distressed screaming: “I want my dad” during the incident in Rochester, upstate New York on January 29.
The youngster then drops to the snow-covered ground and shouts: “I want my dad, I ain’t going nowhere. I want my dad… I’m not getting in no car until I see my dad.
“Wait, can I just please get the snow off of me,” she yells. “I want my dad. Wait, I just want to see my dad, please. For the last time…. I demand.”
One of the cops holding onto her says: “Stop or you’re going to get yourself hurt.”
A female officer is heard telling the girl she’ll find her father and asks her to get inside the police car to stay warm.
“Just spray her at this point,” one of the officers then says, and is seen spraying the girl.
“Please wipe my eyes,” the girl screams. “Wipe my eyes, please.”
After the footage was released Rochester Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson said the girl was suicidal.
“She indicated she wanted to kill herself and she wanted to kill her mom,” he said, according to a report in the Democrat & Chronicle.
A total of nine officers and RPD supervisors ended up responding, the report continued.
“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,” Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said.
“I don’t see that as who we are as a department,” the chief said. “And we’re going to do the work we have to do to ensure that these kinds of things don’t happen.”
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said she was disturbed by the video.
“I’m very concerned about how this young girl was handled by our police department. It is clear from the video we need to do more in support of our children and families,” she added.
The girl was taken to hospital under the state’s mental hygiene law, “where she received the services and care that she needed,” police said.
This 9-year-old girl is mentally distraught and to treat her this way is unacceptable.
The number of officers that were dealing with the incident should have been able to handle the situation without the use of force or pepper spray.
I hope more training is given so that something like this doesn’t happen again. Please share.