Video of officers handcuffing and using pepper spray on a nine-year-old black girl in Rochester, New York, sparked new outrage over law enforcement methods .
According to Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson, the girl, whose identity has not been revealed, was suffering from an urgent mental health crisis, apparently threatening to commit suicide and kill her mother.
A 9-year-old girl was handcuffed and pepper sprayed by police officers responding to a report of "family trouble" in Rochester, New York, on Wednesday, according to Rochester Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson.
- CNN (@CNN) February 1, 2021
Police called to the scene on Friday reacted by handcuffing her, before trying to force her into a car and use pepper spray when she resisted, according to camera footage carried by officers, released. Sunday by the city police.
Police say they acted for his safety
The police said it was to ensure the safety of the girl that they were "forced" to use handcuffs and pepper spray.
But Rochester's black mayor Lovely Warren has condemned the use of force against a child, promising an internal investigation into the city's law enforcement practices.
“I have a ten-year-old child, he's a kid, he's a baby.
As a mother, this video is not something you want to see, ”she said at a press conference on Sunday.
Members of Rochester City Council have accused police of excessive force in a situation where mental health professionals should have been involved.
Local police chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan also admitted that the police had acted excessively.
"I'm not going to tell you that for a 9-year-old it's normal to get sprayed with pepper spray," she said on Sunday.
The president of the local police union defended the actions of the police, saying that "limited resources" left them no choice but to use pepper spray against the child.
“It is not a lack of compassion or empathy,” Mike Mazzeo said Sunday.
“We are facing a very difficult situation.
"We are not on TV, we are not in Hollywood," he said, stressing that it was not always possible to "handcuff someone and make him obey. ".
The death of Daniel Prude rocked Rochester in March
This is the second time in a year that the Rochester police officers have been implicated in violence against African Americans, after the death in March of Daniel Prude, plagued by a psychotic episode at the time of his death. arraignment, who had fallen into a coma, then died.
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Naked in the street when the police arrived, Daniel Prude was unarmed and was quickly handcuffed, before one of the officers present put a hood over his head to prevent him from spitting on the police because he said he had contracted the coronavirus.
The forensic institute concluded, after autopsy, that the death of Daniel Prude was a homicide, linked to "asphyxiation resulting from physical constraint".
VIDEO. United States: tensions during the demonstration for Daniel Prude
United States: tensions during the demonstration for Daniel Prude
The scandal had led to protests in Rochester and New York, demanding reforms in the Rochester police force and prompted its leader, La'Ron Singletary, an agro-American, to quit his post in September.
The death of Daniel Prude echoes those of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, also black, during violent arrests, which have sparked hundreds of demonstrations in the United States since May.