Rochester releases full video of child pepper sprayed by officers, police discipline database

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — At the direction of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, the Rochester Police Department released additional body worn camera footage from Friday, January 29 when an officer handcuffed and pepper sprayed a 9-year-old girl.

Officers responded to a residence on Avenue B and were approached by the custodial parent of a minor. The custodial parent told the RPD that her child was going to cause self-harm to herself and others before she ran away from the residence.

MORE | Family of 9-year-old pepper sprayed by police files notice of claim against City of Rochester, RPD

The girl was “agitated when she saw her custodial parent,” the RPD officials said in a press release. “This caused the minor to pull away and kick at officers, which required an officer to take the minor down to the ground.”

According to the RPD, for the minor’s safety and at the request of the custodial parent, the minor was handcuffed and detained in the backseat of a patrol car to await for AMR. Officers say the minor refused to listen to them as they gave her multiple commands to place her feet inside the patrol car. This required an officer to use an irritant on the minor.

A statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday on the release of the full body camera footage:

“This new video of Rochester police officers handcuffing and pepper spraying a 9-year-old girl is even more shocking and disturbing than the last. New Yorkers in every corner of the state are sickened by these actions and as a father of three daughters, I’m furious. There must be a thorough and competent investigation — period. This is symptomatic of a broader problem — the relationship between police and communities is damaged and needs to be fixed, and that’s why we’re requiring police departments statewide to reimagine their forces or forgo state funding. Officers are sworn to protect and serve and this horrific behavior can never be tolerated.”

In addition to the footage, Mayor Warren also announced the City of Rochester’s online database of disciplinary records is now available.

MORE| Disciplinary records of officers of the Rochester Police Department

50-a of the Civil Rights law shields police personnel records to the public. However in early June of 2020, the New York State Senate repealed 50-a along with passing another bill which requires the New York State Police to wear body cameras.

Previously, those records were accessible by filing a Freedom of Information Request. The new database will ultimately make access to those records without a FOIL request.

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Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.

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