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Warren on traffic stop: 'I don’t think that handcuffing a child is something we should do'

May 20, 2020

Members of Rochester City Council and concerned community members are calling for a deeper look into the incident between a 10-year-old girl and city police. 

Rochester police arrested three people during a traffic stop on Route 104 Sunday. , Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary says during that stop, officers handcuffed a 10-year-old girl who was in the car to assist in “controlling her actions and for the safety of everyone involved."

A tweet from Rochester’s police union said the girl was “brainwashed” and that the family refused because they have “diplomatic immunity.”

The incident caused concern from the NYACLU, who are asking for an investigation. 

Police Chief La'Ron Singletary at a zoom press conference Wednesday.
Credit Max Schulte/WXXI News

It also raised the ire of City Council President Loretta Scott and Vice President Willie Lightfoot. In a joint message, Scott and Lightfoot said, “This entire situation is extremely troubling, and we are hard pressed to understand the justification for handcuffing a child.”

Those are sentiments that Mayor Lovely Warren that she understood.

“You know I have a daughter who is almost 10-years-old,” said Warren during a press conference on Wednesday. “From that perspective, and even if I didn’t have a daughter who was almost 10-years-old, I don’t think that handcuffing a child is something we should do.”

Scott and Lightfoot are asking Singletary “to review department policies concerning the treatment of children.” Singletary says there’s no age restrictions for handcuffing and that the review is underway.

“Part of our review is going to be policies and procedures and like council president and vice president said yesterday, we want the process to be fair for everybody,” said Singletary.

Scott and Lightfoot say they understand that officers are put in difficult situations but they plan to work with the chief to update or change policies in order to take safety into account.