Police union president says no rules broken after RPD pepper sprays 9-year-old girl

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester police union said no rules were broken after body camera footage of a child being handcuffed and pepper sprayed was released on Sunday.

President of the Locust Club Mike Mazzeo said there was no violation of conduct when a Rochester police officer detained and pepper sprayed a 9-year-old girl on Avenue B on Friday.

Mazzeo said the officers involved were following policy while RPD Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said those policies are still under view.

“When it’s determined that she needs help, and there’s a mental hygiene, they have to be restrained. If that’s not going to be the policy then we need to change them but they have to operate on what they have and what they can utilize,” Mazzeo said.

MORE | ‘Minors should not be handcuffed,’ Rev. Stewart calls for suspension of officers after 9-year-old pepper sprayed

The chief responded, “Please know this process is continuous for us. It’s never going to end – this is the kind of thing we’re always going to be vigilant about, evaluating who we are and what we do as a department.”

The Police Accountability Board said it will look into this incident and the RPD itself said it will conduct an internal review.

The City of Rochester released a statement Monday evening saying officers involved in the incident have been suspended. The city did not specify which officers, or how many.

Mayor Lovely Warren is calling for changes to New York State law that would allow cities to take more immediate action to discipline officers “in cases like this one.”

Body camera footage

This is a developing story, News 8 will provide updates as they become available.

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