Another Black Female Pepper Sprayed by Rochester Police, This Time a Mother with a 3-Year Old

above: In the video the baby can be heard screaming ,clearly traumatized, as the  mother is slammed to the ground and handcuffed

Police Tackled And Pepper-Sprayed  a Woman With Her 3-Year-Old Because They Suspected Her Of Shoplifting. The incident occurred less than a month after Rochester, New York, police officers pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old girl and told her that she “did it to herself.”

A police officer in Rochester, New York has been placed on administrative duty after using pepper spray on a woman suspected of shoplifting who tried to escape with her three-year-old child in her arms, authorities said on Friday.

Body camera video shows the woman, who  denies shoplifting anything, opening her purse and showing  it to the officer, and pulls diapers and other items out as she says, “I didn’t steal nothing.” The officer then tells her that she needs to remain with him until they speak with the store employees, at which point the woman begins running away with her toddler. Police quickly catch up with her, and she is repeatedly heard saying, “I did not do anything!”

Police then aggressively tackle her to the ground to handcuff her as her child can be heard screaming and crying, “Mommy, Mommy!” The woman is heard telling the officers, “I did not steal anything!”  

The woman is seen grabbing her child’s hand as she gets up, and an officer pepper-sprays her in the face and tries to push her onto the ground again as another officer breaks her grip on her toddler.

Bodycam footage shows the child screaming in distress and police holding the child back from running to the police car where the woman was being held.

The woman’s toddler was not hit with pepper spray during the arrest, police said in a statement. 

-Another officer arrived and carried the child several yards away. A statement from police said the woman was pepper-sprayed during the arrest.

A concerned citizen is  seen approaching the police after witnessing the commotion and tells them their actions  were “inhumane” and it did not matter if the woman was “Black, blue, purple or grey.” He’s then heard to say “When is this shi@#!  going to stop?”

The woman, whose name was not released, was charged with trespassing.

Police chief Cynthia Herriot-Sullivan told reporters on Friday the officer appeared to follow protocol but “some things to me aren’t as simple as whether a policy was followed or not.”

The city’s Police Accountability Board, an entity created by a 2019 voter referendum to look into allegations of police misconduct, said it saw “troubling parallels” with another emergency call in which officers pepper-sprayed a distraught nine-year-old girl they had handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car during a family dispute.

“Both incidents involved Black mothers,” PAB chair Shani Wilson said. “Both involved Black children. Both involved Black people obviously in crisis. Both involved officers using pepper spray on or around a Black child.”

Statement from Mayor Lovely Warren  Regarding the 535  Portland Avenue Arrest

 “These videos are certainly disturbing. That’s why Chief Herriott Sullivan is not waiting for the Executive Order 203 process to be completed.  She is working to make sweeping, but necessary, policy and procedure changes along with mandatory training for officers regarding racism and implicit bias. We have to collectively push forward the request to the State allowing the City to immediately terminate officers for cause. Change will not come until we have the ability to fully hold our officers accountable when they violate the public’s trust.”