Rochester, New York, February 2, 2021: On Friday, January 29, Rochester (New York) Police responded to a family disturbance call in the city. As part of this call, officers handcuffed and subsequently pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old girl while attempting to place her in police custody – an event that was captured on footage obtained from the arresting officer’s body camera.
Reaction to this incident from politicians and the community has been largely negative, but the official department response clearly took the side of the arresting officers. While the three officers have been removed from duty due to the incident – one on a paid suspension, and the other two on administrative leave – the official statements have been lacking detail. The president of the Rochester Locust Club, the police union, asserted that the officers’ response followed standard operating procedure.
“To state that a needless act of violence by the RPD against a nine year old child is ‘following policy’ is a tone deaf and empty response to a community that is still reeling from the Daniel Prude incident last year,” Anthony D’Orazio, 1st Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of New York, explained. “The Libertarian Party of New York stands for non-violence, and incidents like this involving government force highlight the need to reform both the role of police, as well as the court system that enables such violent domestic conflicts in the first place.”\
“As a Rochestarian myself, I am deeply saddened that, once again, my hometown has made the international press for all the wrong reasons. Our community needs to stand together and call for accountability and tangible improvement in the RPD.”
1st Vice Chair
Libertarian Party of New York