“Officer, please don’t do this to me.”
New footage has emerged of the January 29 incident in Rochester, New York that left a nine-year-old girl handcuffed and pepper sprayed as multiple police officers detained her.
Officials in Rochester released the extended body camera footage that captured more of the distressing event.
In between sobs, the child can be heard pleading with a female officer.
“Officer,” she says. “Please don’t do this to me.” The officer replies, “You did it yourself, hon.”
The new footage released on Thursday (February 11), is an hour and half long, according to a report by The New York Times, much longer than the 11-minute version first released to the public shortly after the incident, which gained national and global attention.
The Rochester police department is still under scrutiny for the suffocating death of Daniel Prude whom officers covered with a hood.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said the city was “committed to being transparent and sharing all of the information and video regarding this incident,” especially after information about Daniel Prude’s death was not released more than five months after.
“I continue to share our community’s outrage for the treatment of this child,” Mayor Warren added.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo described the newly released footage “even more shocking and disturbing” than the video first released.
Gov. Cuomo said the encounter was “symptomatic of a broader problem–– the relationship between police and communities is damaged and needs to be fixed.”
A total of nine officers were on the scene attempting to get the child in the back of the car.
“Listen to me –– you’re going to get sprayed if you don’t get in,” one officer says in the video.
“Get in the car, I’m done telling you,” another says. “This is your last change, or pepper spray is going into your eyeballs,” an officer says.
“Please don’t,” the girl replies. Throughout the video she repeatedly states she wants her father.
A female officer tries to talk the girl to getting completely in the car.
Soon, two officers can be heard saying,”Just spray her,” and within seconds one of them does. The girl screams, “My eye is bleeding.” The female officer sits in front of the car and tells the child, “You did it to yourself.”
“It’s burning my eyes,” the child says. “That’s the point of pepper spray,” the officer replies.
The family’s attorney, Donald Thompson said the new video is “far more disturbing,” adding that “The lack of humanity is amazing.”
One of the officers has been suspended and two have been placed on leave.
Rochester City Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot said the officers should not be on the street. “Those who act the way we see in that video should not be allowed to get a paycheck from these citizens,” he said.
Lightfoot acknowledged the city’s recent efforts to address the problems within the police department, like the creation of an independent Police Accountability Board, but noted the discouragement in making such reforms.
“Every time it seems like we are taking a step forward, something else happens,” he said.
Photo: Getty Images