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Rochester Police Chief: No policies or procedures were violated in handcuffing of 10-year-old

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary released a statement Friday about the handcuffing of a 10-year-old during a traffic stop last weekend.

Chief Singletary said in the statement that after reviewing the body cameras of each officer involved in the incident, the Facebook video, and the statements taken about the incident, he has come to the conclusion that none of the police officers or supervisors involved violated any policy or procedure of the Rochester Police Department.

The statement continued, “As Chief it is my job to review the facts of every case through an objective lens and render a decision based on those facts. I have don’t that in this case.”

A video of the arrest went viral on Facebook last weekend, warranting an explanation from the Rochester Police Department and calls for an investigation from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.

Chief Singletary gave an explanation of the arrest Monday, saying that the 10-year-old was handcuffed for safety reasons, and that they were trying to protect the girl.

According to police, the driver refused to provide proof of a valid driver’s license when requested by officers. Police then determined that the vehicle would be towed and the occupants were asked to exit the vehicle.

Police say the occupants of the vehicle claimed to be of sovereign citizen status, where they do not believe any American laws. The driver claimed to have “diplomatic immunity” which police determined to not be the case.

The mother of the 10-year-old, Empress Aquelleah Sovereign El Bay, told News 8 Friday, “Can (Chief Singletary) release that body cam? Because we got people looking for that body cam, because all we have is his word. He’s releasing (the statement) without giving us proof. And I think since I put my stuff out, I think they should put their stuff out there, don’t you think?”

“The 10-year old was asked a few times by the officer to get out of the roadway for everyone’s safety,” Singletary said. “Cars were traveling down to the expressway. The 10-year old during the encounter tried to pull away from the officers, and based on the information I have right now, the officer made a decision to handcuff to assist in controlling the actions of the 10-year old and for the safety of all involved.”

Chief Singletary also said the girl was not sent to jail as the mother had previously claimed.

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