Newly released footage reveals more disturbing details involving a case that has sought national attention where Rochester, New York, police are seen manhandling a nine-year-old child.
Rochester officials initially released 16 minutes of bodycam footage, following up with an additional 86 minutes on Thursday.
One involved officer has been suspended, while two were placed on leave, according to The New York Times.
In the most recent video released Thursday, one of the officers can be heard telling the girl, “You did it to yourself, hun,” after she begs, “Please don’t do this to me.” Pepper-spray continuously runs from her eyes into her mouth as she struggles to break free from the officers and calls out for her dad, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, who obtained the video.
On Jan. 29 around nine officers arrived at the child’s home, responding to call from the girl’s mother who claimed her boyfriend attempted to steal her vehicle. The woman also tells officers that the girl was making threats to herself and her mother. In previously released footage, the mother, daughter and one of the officers, engage in a tense conversation where the woman and child allege claims of abuse in their household.
Officers in the video appear agitated and without patience several times leading up to the point where the child was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed. As she asks for assistance, the officers instead attempt to make light of her appeals for help.
“The pepper spray is burning my eyes!” the girl says at one point.
“Yep, that’s the point of pepper spray,” an officer responds from the front seat of the vehicle.
“The cold air is going to feel nice,” another officer says after suggesting that she place her head out the window.
“Officer, please help me. It burns,” the child says moments later.
“It’s supposed to burn. It’s called pepper spray,” the officer responds. “The cold air should help, OK?”
In another portion of the video, an officer yells at the mother after she attempted to argue with bystanders during the confrontation with officers.
“I gotta run after your daughter,” he says. “I’ve got to fight your daughter, and you’re busy fighting with somebody in a van. What the heck’s wrong with you?”
The woman attempts to talk to the officer, explaining that this isn’t the first time she’s been in this predicament.
“You apologize? Now I gotta do paperwork why I put down a 9-year-old girl to the ground as you’re fighting with somebody in a van driving down the street,” her responds.
The investigation into the matter is stalled after the Police Accountability Board claims the Rochester Police Department has yet to turn over all of the requested evidence.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren released a statement urging the police to release all information to the public.
“I continue to share our community’s outrage for the treatment of this child and have ensured that she and her family have been connected to the support they need though our Person in Crisis team,” Warren said.
Rochester business owners are organizing an effort to let the young girl know that she is supported by her community. According WHAM, eight business owners are collecting Valentine’s Day cards to send to the girl.
“We might not know her, but the words, inspiration and notes will lift her spirits and she can know there’s people out there who care about her and she can count on us,” said Chimere Fullilove, one of the business owners.
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