A Rochester police officer has been placed on administrative leave after video emerged Friday of the cop pepper spraying a shoplifting suspect as she attempted to flee with her three-year-old child.
The video was released as the Rochester Police Department remains under scrutiny over its interactions with black residents — including Daniel Prude, whose September 2020 death while in custody was also captured on disturbing video.
Video of the Feb. 22 incident shows a black woman running from a white police officer after being accused of robbing a convenience store.
The body-cam footage shows the officer subduing the woman while another officer takes the screaming child several feet away.
The incident is being investigated, Rochester Police said in a press statement.
“The child was not pepper sprayed or injured during the arrest,” the statement said.
Police chief Cynthia Herriot-Sullivan said that the officer involved appeared to have followed appropriate procedure, but added that ” some things to me aren’t as simple as whether a policy was followed or not.”
Rochester’s Police Accountability Board, which was created in 2019, said that it saw parallels between this case and one where a 9-year-old girl was pepper sprayed and then forced to sit in the back of a police vehicle.
“Both incidents involved Black mothers. Both involved Black children. Both involved Black people obviously in crisis. Both involved officers using pepper spray on or around a Black child,” Shani Wilson, the PAB chair, said Friday.
As of now, the mom, whose name has not been released, is charged with trespassing and is still in police custody.
With Post Wires