Rochester Police Department has managed to make national news once again. The mostly white law enforcement revealed bodycam footage of officers manhandling a nine-year-old girl. The child, who was clearly under distress was tackled, handcuffed, and maced by officers after a domestic violence incident between her mother and a man the child claimed to be her father.
According to WHEC, the nightmare began after police responded to a home on Ave B regarding a family trouble call involving a possibly stolen car. While on the scene, officers were advised that the child was going to harm herself or others. The bodycam footage shows a nine-year-old girl upset as she informed officers that she witnessed an altercation that may have resulted in the stabbing of a male the child identified as her father, by her mother.
Now, a woman using the name Elba Pope(Harley quinn) on Facebook claims she is the mother of the child pepper-sprayed by police. In a Facebook post, Pope who appeared on bodycam footage at the time of the incident, berating and attempting to attack the child, says she was upset because the child was lying. Pope posted, “Soooo as a mother, if your child being disrespectful, and talking about something that literally nvr happened, you DNT snatch they ass up? SHE DNT EVEN GET HER ASS WHOOPED, but y'all finna sit here and tell me that you allow your kids to walk around disrespecting the parents nd you DNT punish or have consequences for your kids?? I'm screaming, so y'all nvr yelled at your kids frustrated, you nvr got to your last straw of a disrespectful ass child? And yet ALL IN ALL I STILL DNT PUT MY HANDS ON HER, she gets yelled at and punishment, that's my form of discipline, so for all you mfk out there who so holy please gth” In another post, Pope claimed the child “...had a meltdown down that did not warrant her to be sprayed."
Unfortunately, the dispute played out for the world to see with Facebook opinions popping up like hotcakes. Former Judge Leticia Astacio, who is also running for City Council added her voice to the mayhem when she appeared in a tearful Facebook Live. Pope responded to Astacio's dramatic video in a scathing Facebook rant. Pope posted, "I honestly wish she would stfu, you crying on live and literally don't know wtf your talking about, NOBODY WAS STABBED, this little girl do not get abused in any shape or form, I don't even pop/ whoop her when she's around here being extremely disrespectful, the only form of PUNISHMENT she gets is grounded, she has every thing she needs and wants beyond wtf a 9 yr old should have, ok, yes I got frustrated, might have lost my cool for a moment, but understand I am pregnant, just had to literally deal with a prior situation nd on top of that she literally flips out because SHE THOUGHT heavy on she THOUGHT I stabbed him, yes I got upset, because girl you telling these ppl I stabbed him and I didn't it was my blood, yes I went to snatch her lil ass up and bring her ass home because now you doin to much sayin something that was not only true, but coulda got me in real trouble for SOMETHING I DID NOT DO, at the end of the day no one knows what I deal with behind closed doors, this is not the first time she's melted down before and had to be under mental hygiene arrest, MY SPOILED ASS CHILD IS HOME SAFE IN HER BED DOING SCHOOL, everybody got so much to say but literally only see 10 mins of a video, please go to hell, THIS 9 YR OLD CHILD LIVES BETTER THEN HALF YOU GROWN MFK OUT HERE AND I CAN BET MY LIFE ON THAT, carry tf on spectating about something your assuming."
Pope isn't the only one facing backlash from the incident. Protesters, community members, and city leaders are calling for the officers' resignation. The officers involved in the excessive force of a nine-year-old girl "was done by the book" according to Locust Club President Michael Mazzeo during a news conference. Interim Police Chief Cynthia Harriott-Sullivan stated, "I'm not going to stand here and tell you that for a 9-year-old girl to have to be pepper-sprayed is OK."