A 9-year-old girl was handcuffed and pepper sprayed by police responding to reports of “family trouble” in Rochester, New York.
Police officers were responding to a call to the home on January 29 about family trouble, Rochester Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson said at a press conference, CNN reports. The girl was said to be “suicidal” and had “indicated that she wanted to kill herself and she wanted to kill her mom.”
She tried to run from police when they arrived. Body cam footage shows an officer chasing her.
Officers decided to take the child to the hospital but she refused to get inside the police vehicle.
Body cam footage shows the officers holding her down on the snow covered ground and putting her in handcuffs then later attempted to get her inside the back of a police vehicle as she is heard repeatedly crying and calling for her father.
At one point officers told her that she was “acting like a child,” to which she responded, “I am a child!”
“This is your last chance, otherwise pepper spray’s going in your eyeballs,” a female officer told the child later in the video as she refused to get inside the vehicle. About a minute later, another officer can be heard saying, “Just spray her at this point.”
The girl was transported to Rochester General Hospital where she was later released, the deputy police chief said.
“It didn’t appear as if she was resisting the officers, she was trying not to be restrained to go to the hospital,” Anderson said.
“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,” Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said. “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.”
The officers involved were not identified neither was the child nor her family.