A nine-year-old girl who was threatening to kill herself and harm others was cuffed and pepper sprayed during an interaction with the Rochester Police Department on Friday.
According to a report from WXXI, “Officials said that police were responding to a family disturbance on Friday and that the girl was suicidal and upset. They said officers detained the minor in order to get her assistance.”
Democratic Mayor Lovely Warren’s newly-minted “People in Crisis” (PIC) network, made up of social workers and other assistance for officers when dealing with mental health issues and the like, was nowhere to be found during the altercation.
“By mobilizing highly-trained professionals, including crisis intervention counselors and social workers, we can ensure that those in crisis receive treatment rather than punishment,” Warren boasted of the unit last month.
In about 11 minutes of released body camera footage, the young girl tells an officer, whom she’s running from, that she’s upset that he mother “stabbed” her father. A woman, presumably the girl’s mother, yells at the girl and says the blood she saw belonged to her, not the girl’s father.
As the two females argue, the officer first on scene asks them to go to his car, telling them “it’s freezing out.”
“You gonna bring your a** to this mother f***ing house,” the woman tells the girl, threatening seeming physical violence and that she’ll “drag” her “a** home” if she does not comply. “I got custody, you’re my child,” she says, “So, you’re gonna take your a** home, right now, and you’re gonna take your a** in the house.”
The woman appears to put her hands on the girl and tells her, “Get your a** in the house, right now.” The male officer on duty pleads with the woman to stop.
It then sounds like the girl says to her mother, “I’m gonna murder her.” This elicits the mother to scream at the girl: “Who the f*** do you think you’re talking to.”
There is then screaming at people in a car who slow down to look at the commotion. One of the females yells to them multiple times, “You can s*** my d***.” An officer later tells other cops that the mother was trying to fight people driving by.
As another officer arrives for backup, the male officer says to put the young girl in a police car. “No! No!” the nine-year-old can be heard yelling. “I want my dad, I’m not going nowhere.”
The girl is then handcuffed by two male officers while screaming, “I want my dad,” and resisting. She also asks the officers to help her mother, who she says is pregnant.
For about two minutes, one of the body cameras, which seems to have been knocked to the ground, goes dark; audio, however, is still picked up.
When the visual from the body camera comes back on, there are now at least six cop cars on site. One of the officers says they are taking the girl’s mother to jail.
“Get in the car, I’m done telling you,” one of the male officers says. “Get in the car.” At the same time, a female officer is talking to the young girl.
As the girl is screaming for her father, the female officer tells her she has one more chance to get into the vehicle properly or she will be pepper sprayed. The girl, still not entirely in the car, is then pepper sprayed. “Wipe my eyes, please,” she pleads, before the police car doors are shut.
Before the girl is pepper sprayed, one of the male officers says the mother should be arrested, noting that she tried to fight people driving by.
Local reporter and radio host Bob Lonsberry noted of the new PIC unit and the glaring omission of the unit during the altercation:
“The city, after the death of Daniel Prude, changed and, it hopes, improved its response regimen for people who are out of control – ‘people in crisis’ is the phrase. Folks who may be having a mental health crisis or high on drugs or with a mental handicap. People who may be physically resistant and non-cooperative, but who may not be criminal or motivated by bad intent,” Lonsberry outlined. “This call didn’t meet the criteria for the PIC unit to be dispatched, and the city hasn’t yet created a protocol for dual dispatch for its new unit. Meaning that, if the police have already been sent, there isn’t a mechanism yet approved by City Hall that allows the PIC unit to also be sent out.”
Warren said Sunday that she’s asked for the Rochester Police Department to investigate the incident, WXXI reported. “She said she also welcomes a review of the incident by the city’s Police Accountability Board.”
“I have a 10-year-old daughter… she’s a child. She’s a baby,” the mayor said. “And I can tell you that this video, as a mother, is not anything that you want to see. It’s not.”
“This is not something that any of us should want to justify, can justify and is something we have to change. It is not an option,” Warren added.
WARNING: Disturbing footage
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