Officials release new footage in pepper-spraying of 9-year-old: 'You did it to yourself, hon'

The Rochester Police Department in New York on Thursday released extended body camera footage from the incident late last month in which police pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old girl. 

In the footage, which the police department posted on YouTube, several of the nine officers who responded to a call reporting "family trouble,” can be heard threatening the girl as they struggle to get her into the back of a police car. 

“Listen to me — you’re going to get sprayed if you don’t get in,” one officer says, according to the footage.


“Get in the car,” another says. “I’m done telling you.”

“I’m going to pepper-spray you, and I don’t want to,” one officer says. “So sit back.”

“Please don’t,” the girl says.

One of the officers eventually pepper-sprays the girl, shutting the door as the girl screams, “My eye is bleeding!”

“Officer,” she says between sobs to a female officer in the front of the car, “please don’t do this to me.”

The officer then responds, “You did it to yourself, hon.” 


The 90-minute footage, significantly longer than the 11-minute video released shortly after the incident, came as part of the city’s commitment to “being transparent and sharing all of the information and video regarding this incident,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (D) said. 

“I continue to share our community’s outrage for the treatment of this child,” Warren added, according to The New York Times

Deputy Police Chief Andre Anderson said during a press conference when the initial police footage was released that officers were told the girl “indicated she wanted to kill herself and she wanted to kill her mom.” 

Anderson added that the girl then ran away from home and was chased down by an officer. Officers then attempted to get the girl into a police vehicle for several minutes as the girl refused, calling for her father, struggling and at one point kicking off an officer’s body camera before another pepper-sprayed her. 

Anderson said at the time that the child was taken to Rochester General Hospital and was later released. 

The incident quickly went viral and prompted widespread outrage, with many claiming police inappropriately used force against a minor. 

Warren confirmed to The Hill earlier this month that multiple officers involved in the incident had been suspended. The suspensions were set to apply immediately and will continue at least during the course of an internal police review. 

Elba Pope, the girl’s mother, said days later that officers ignored her during the incident when she told them her daughter was having a mental health crisis.

Attorneys for Pope have filed a formal notice of intent to sue the city for “emotional distress, assault, battery, excessive force, false arrest, false imprisonment,” according to The Washington Post.