In a shocking incident, police officers in Rochester handcuffed and pepper-sprayed a nine-year-old while responding to what they termed a “family trouble”, prompting strong reactions by city officials.
In a video, shot by a body-cam show the distraught minor being apprehended, handcuffed and being forcefully pushed behind the seat of the Rochester Police Department petrol car.
After the girl refuses to obey the commands, the troops were seen pepper-spraying her as she repeatedly cries and calls for her father.
The incident invoked strong criticism from the city police and sparked outrage with Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren expressed her concern and said, “What happened Friday was simply horrible, and has rightly outraged, all of our community.”
“Unfortunately, (New York) state law and union contract prevents me from taking more immediate and serious action,” she added.
Following this, the officers involved were suspended on request of Warren. The suspension will last at least until the conclusion of an internal investigation by the Rochester police.
The girl was later taken to the Rochester General Hospital and was later released. According to deputy police chief Andre Anderson, the minor had been suffering from a serious mental health emergency, reportedly threatening to take her own life and that of her mother.
A total of nine officers and RPD supervisors reached spot from where they allegedly got a phone call for “family trouble” involving a possible stolen vehicle.
The incident follows a series of death of African-American, including death of George Floyd that sparked off a world wide outrage and prompted a- Black Lives Matter- movement.