The president of the Rochester Police Union this week defended a Rochester Police officer who pepper-sprayed and handcuffed a 9-year-old girl last week.
On Sunday, the Rochester Police Department released disturbing body camera footage of a young girl getting pepper-sprayed even though she had already been handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a police car.
Union president Mike Mazzeo told reporters that pepper spraying the child was the right call for the officers to make at the time.
“They were trying to get her into the car, and he made the decision there that he thought was the best action to take,” Mazzeo said. “It resulted in no injury to her.”
Mazzeo also said that deploying pepper spray on the girl was the safest way to get her to fully move into the car, as other methods the officers could have used would have resulted in her “getting hurt worse.”
Police were called to the girl’s residence last Friday as part of a domestic dispute in which the girl’s custodial parent told officers that she feared “her daughter would harm herself and others,” the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports.
The girl initially ran away but was quickly tracked down and apprehended by officers who handcuffed her and placed her in the back of a police car where she would eventually be pepper-sprayed while she screamed out that she wanted to see her father.
Rochester’s police union president says that the officer who pepper sprayed the 9-year-old “made a decision there that he thought was the best action to take. It resulted in no injury to her."pic.twitter.com/Ace5TOLytS
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 1, 2021