Rochester Police Suspended for Pepper-Spraying A 9-Year-Old Girl

New York lawmakers have introduced legislation to ban police officers from using chemical irritants on minors.

On Monday, Rochester, New York mayor Lovely Warren announced that three Rochester police officers involved in the pepper-spraying of a 9-year-old girl have been suspended. The announcement came just before a night of local protests and New York state lawmakers introducing new legislature.

Rochester senators Samra Brouk and Desmond Meeks have introduced an amendment to current state law to prohibit officers from using chemicals against minors under any circumstance.

“We can at least make sure that no child will ever again be treated like this,” Brouk explained. “At a time when this young girl was in the middle of a crisis, away from her parents, instead of being comforted, spoken to as a child, she was treated violently and pepper-sprayed in the face.”

In a video of the incident, Rochester police can be seen restraining the girl, handcuffing and pepper-spraying her as she cries out for her father. Rochester’s Interim police chief Cynthia Herriot-Sullivan has spoken with the girl’s mother and is in the process of connecting the family with the city’s Person in Crisis mental health team.

“You’re acting like a child,” an officer says. “I am a child!” the girl responded.

“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,” Herriot-Sullivan said. “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.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed, saying in a statement that the incident is proof “the relationship between police and the communities they serve is clearly not working.”


The involved officers were called to the girl’s homes for a report of “family trouble.” The girl was reportedly suicidal. Rochester deputy chief Andre Anderson says the officers were told the girl was suicidal and made threats against her mother and herself.

“It didn’t appear as if she was resisting the officers,” Anderson said. “She was trying not to be restrained to go to the hospital. As the officers made numerous attempts to try to get her in the car, an officer sprayed the young child with OC spray to get her in the car.”

The child was taken to Rochester General Hospital and later released.

The incident is the second notable case of police brutality in the area in months. Back in March, seven members of the Rochester Police Department were suspended after the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who was pinned to the ground, handcuffed, and had a hood placed over his head during a mental health crisis.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

Published by
Torry Threadcraft

Recent Posts

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About New Will Smith Film ‘Emancipation’

The embargo for new Will Smith film Emancipation has lifted. Some critics are calling Smith's portrayal of… Read More

December 1, 2022

Flying Lotus Talks New Audible Podcast & Gives Update on Next Film, ‘Ash’

 Flying Lotus spoke to Okayplayer about Alice Coltrane, spirituality, composing for film and television and… Read More

December 1, 2022

Erykah Badu Talks Hip-Hop With Bronx Rapper Ice Spice

Joined by her eldest daughter Puma Curry, Erykah Badu interviewed Ice Spice on what a… Read More

December 1, 2022

Kanye West Praises Hitler During Outrageous Appearance on Alex Jones’ ‘Infowars’

On Thursday, Kanye West spoke to right-wing and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones about… Read More

December 1, 2022

A Bruce Lee Biopic is in the Works

Mason Lee, son of acclaimed director Ang Lee, is set to star in a biopic… Read More

December 1, 2022

Dapper Dan on Trying to “Destigmatize” the Hoodie

 On the eve of the release of his latest GAP hoodie, we briefly spoke to… Read More

November 30, 2022