Two Police Officers Suspended After Handcuffing And Pepper Spraying 9-Year-Old Girl

by : Emily Brown on : 02 Feb 2021 16:28
Two Police Officers Suspended After Handcuffing And Pepper Spraying 9-Year-Old GirlHLN

Two police officers in New York have been suspended after handcuffing and pepper-spraying a nine-year-old girl. 

The incident took place when police arrived at a home in Rochester on the afternoon of January 29 after responding to a report of ‘family trouble’. The young girl said to have ‘indicated that she wanted to kill herself and she wanted to kill her mom’.


The nine-year-old attempted to run from the officers, but bodycam footage shows that an officer chased her and attempted to provide assistance. The girl’s mother then arrived on the scene and began arguing with her daughter.

Hear more about the situation below:


In a news release cited by People, police said the nine-year-old began ‘to pull away and kick at officers, which required an officer to take the minor down to the ground’. For ‘the minor’s safety and at the request of the custodial parent on scene’, she was then handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car as officers waited for an ambulance.


The girl allegedly refused to place her feet in the patrol car, as demanded by the officers, after which police said an officer was ‘required’ to spray an ‘irritant’ in her face.

Bodycam footage showed a female officer saying, ‘I’m gonna pepper-spray you, and I don’t want to, so sit back … this is your last chance, otherwise pepper spray is going in your eyeballs, come on let’s go.’

About a minute later, another officer can be heard saying, ‘Just spray her at this point.’ The officer then proceeded to spray the irritant.

Police suspended after pepper spraying nine-year-oldRochester Police Department

Rochester Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson said the child was transported to Rochester General Hospital, where she was treated before being released. On Monday, February 1, the two officers involved were suspended.

In a statement released after the incident, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren described the events as ‘simply horrible’.

She commented:

What happened Friday… has rightly outraged, all of our community. Unfortunately, state law and union contract prevents me from taking more immediate and serious action.

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. This is not something that any of us should want to justify, can justify, this is something we have to change. It’s not an option.

We must change how we do business, how we treat people. We have to understand, that they at the very core are human beings and we must treat each other as we want to be treated, as we want our loved ones to be treated.


Interim Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said in a news conference that she was ‘not going to stand here and tell you that for a nine-year-old to have to be pepper-sprayed is OK’.

She continued, ‘It’s not. 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.’

Police Captain Mark Mura said the incident is now ‘under review’, adding that police would comment on why the officers were ‘required’ to use the irritant after reviewing the bodycam footage.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, New York, Police, US


People and 1 other
  1. People

    Body Camera Captures Police Officer Pepper Spraying a 9-Year-Old Girl in Rochester, N.Y.

  2. News 8 WROC/YouTube

    Rochester police officers suspended after 9-year-old handcuffed, pepper sprayed