Welp, it didn’t take long into the new year for police officers to show that’s they still don’t get it.
February 1st is supposed to be a day we’re supposed to be honoring Black greatness with the start of Black History Month. Instead, Twitter is laser-focused on the actions of Rochester police officers. On Sunday (Jan.31), the city released video footage from a Friday (Jan.29) incident that involved a 9-year old girl.
In the released bodycam footage, officers can be seen handcuffing the child before they tried to force her into the back of a police cruiser and then pepper-spraying her because she was “resisting.” Sunday, Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson claimed the unnamed girl was suffering from mental issues and threatening to take her own life as well as her mother’s.
Rochester police said this handcuffed, 9-year-old girl's actions “required” them to pepper spray her.
Big trigger warning. Horrifying.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) February 1, 2021
The Rochester police department claimed the situation “required” the use of handcuffs and irritant to ensure the girl’s safety during the incident.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is not buying what the police was selling and condemned the officers’ actions and pledged that an internal review of the city’s law enforcement practices would be investigated during a press conference.
“It is clear from the video that we need to do more supporting our children and families,” Warren said. “I have a 10-year-old child, so she’s a child, she’s a baby.”
“This video, as a mother, is not anything you want to see. We have to understand compassion, empathy,” she added.
Mayor Warren wasn’t alone in condemning the actions. The Rochester city council members also spoke out against the police officers’ excessive force when dealing with the child. They pointed out that a mental health professional should have been called in to handle the situation.
Local police chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan also spoke out against the police officers’ use of force, saying, “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.”
But as expected, Mike Mazzeo, the local police union president, caped for his fellow police officers claiming that due to “limited resources,” the officers were left with no choice but use pepper-spray on a child.
“This is not about lack of compassion or empathy. We’re dealing with a very difficult situation.”
“It’s not TV. It’s not Hollywood. We don’t just have a simple put someone in handcuffs and have them comply.”
Rochester police union chief defending the pepper spraying of a 9-year-old girl:
"Had they had to go and push further, and use more force, there's a good chance she could have been hurt worse."
Not sure that's making your case stronger.pic.twitter.com/8BhokISXpo
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) February 1, 2021
Like the Mayor, local police chief, and Rochester city council members, Twitter was also outraged, and “she’s 9” immediately trended on the social media medium after the video’s release.
she’s 9. this little girl is 9 years old. there is absolutely no reason for ANY person to be treated this way. there is no amount of training that will fix this system.
these people are truly evil. there’s no denying it, the lack of empathy for another human being is astounding. https://t.co/6F6KgJKkFP
— ♀️ (@fatfabfeminist) February 1, 2021
This is why we march. This is why many are calling for the police to be abolished.
You can see more reactions to the appalling video in the gallery below.
Photo: Douglas Sacha / Getty
Outrage Ensues After Video of Police Officers Arresting & Pepper-Spraying 9-Year Old Girl Surfaces was originally published on hiphopwired.com
“it was either pepper spray her or do something worse” isn’t the winning argument you think it is, guy. she’s 9 year old, there’s like 8 cops in that video. somebody should have known how to deescalate. instead y’all pepper sprayed a baby. https://t.co/gQSVFf7Gje— meelo stan #1 🌬 (@human_espresso) February 1, 2021
Not one single lie detected.
I’m old enough to remember armed, violent white men and women attempting to overthrow our government who killed at least one police officer by beating him and cops took selfies with them 🤬— Sue 🌊🍑 (@homenotalone) February 1, 2021
She’s 9. https://t.co/Qa2Jox2h4o
A glaring double-standard when it comes to policing in this country.
this is another reason why we say defund the police... he doesn’t even think what his cops did was wrong, it’s a “well atleast they didn’t beat her and possibly kill her” she’s 9. you can’t change that type of behavior if it’s also coming from the union chief— blackdoll (@kwnspl) February 1, 2021
She’s 9..... I just.... the sheer senselessness.....You cannot reform this! From Tamir Rice killed for having a toy gun by the blood thirsty police to this, you can not ever convince me this is capable of reform and contrition. Abolish it! https://t.co/J56jSrRoBZ— Mihrimah BLACK LIVES MATTER | (@Mihrimah_FS) February 1, 2021
“It resulted in no injury to her”— Unite in justice for the poor & oppressed (@BreeNewsome) February 1, 2021
Abolish the police https://t.co/mjE7uzpFti
She’s 9 they could’ve picked her up not fuxking pepper spray the poor kid https://t.co/EjZO0DSGe4— Property of Renoir | off cause studying (@KIMTAEC0RE) February 1, 2021
But you know the police lack the logic to think this way.
I'm sorry but cops aren't making a good case for not being defunded by pepper spraying a child. I mean she's 9 ffs.— Josh 🏳️🌈 (@Venti__Poet) February 1, 2021
“And she’s 9 years old, imagine if it was a grown individual” we don’t need to imagine because we already know. https://t.co/9HKZFKlqs9— JB (@Kingbap_) February 1, 2021
We know exactly how this story would have ended if it was an adult, and it wouldn’t have been with the person getting Burger King.
She's 9 you can literally just pick her up. These are the people you're supposed to trust to help you when you're in actual danger omg https://t.co/dw3zrUVlWB— Eloise (@MacAttacks) February 1, 2021
Again, that’s all the cops had to do, but they love to make their jobs so much harder for no good reason.
I watched the video. She crying and screaming for her dad. Why were they not reassuring her that they’d find him? Why could this not have been done in a less harmful manner to her? She’s 9, this should not have happened.— 💜Katarina and The Sandy Boys💜 (@KatarinaHoshii) February 1, 2021
Even beyond the fact that SHE'S 9 YEARS OLD, I fail to see how pepper-spraying someone who's suicidal will make them less suicidal. This is why, when I was suicidal, I didn't tell ANYONE. I feared armed thugs at my door far more than I did my depression. https://t.co/5qAZ50fw2o— Teresa Rothaar (@trothaar) February 1, 2021
This would happen at the top of black history month. “Serve and protect” my ass . She’s 9 years old tf. https://t.co/pvaDKfVLSq— Jå 🌼 (@_conceded_) February 1, 2021