Black woman's arrest again brings police in New York under scanner

WION Web Team
New York, New York, United States of America Published: Mar 07, 2021, 04:26 PM(IST)

Police in Rochester Photograph:( AFP )

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The same Rochester police was earlier criticised over two earlier episodes that raised questions about their use of force.

Police in the New York city of Rochester has again found its way to scanner and scrutiny after body-cam video showed them forcing a woman, holding her three-year-old daughter, to the ground and pepper-spraying her.

The same Rochester police was earlier criticised over two earlier episodes that raised questions about their use of force.

The video of the latest incident, which took place February 22, shows an officer stopping a woman on the snow-covered shoulder of a road, telling her a nearby business had accused her of stealing.

The woman, carrying her tiny daughter in one arm, insisted she stole nothing and partially emptied her purse to show the officer. 

When the officer refused to let her go, the woman ran with her child in her arms. Officers chase and catch up with her, forcing her to the ground.

When the woman struggled back to her feet and grabbed for her daughter, police used pepper spray to subdue her and force her back to the ground. 

The child was not pepper-sprayed directly, but officials who saw the footage said she could have been exposed.

Board chair Shani Wilson told reporters that there were "troubling parallels" to an incident in late January in which a nine-year-old girl was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed.

The woman was ultimately charged with trespassing and the arresting officer was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

In September, Rochester police came under attack after video showed the arrest of Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old Black man. 

The incident also recalled the death in May of George Floyd, the Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes.

Floyd's death, and other police-involved deaths of Black people, sparked protests across the US and around the world in the form of Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

(with inputs from agencies)

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