State legislators propose ban on chemical agents against minors by police officers

February 03, 2021

Originally published in WROC on February 03, 2021.

State legislators from the Rochester area are proposing legislation that would prohibit the use of chemical agents like pepper spray against minors by police officers.

This proposed legislation comes after a 9-year-old girl was handcuffed and pepper sprayed by Rochester police officers Friday. State Sen. Samra Brouk (D-55) and Assemblymember Demond Meeks (D-137) say the legislation would prohibit the use of chemical agents, including pepper spray and tear gas, by police officers against children under the age of 18.

The harrowing experience endured by a nine-year-old girl in our community — including being handcuffed and pepper sprayed — should never happen to another child,” Brouk said in a press release. “This legislation will ensure that when a child is in crisis, they will never again be met with such violence in the form of pepper spray or other chemical irritants. We know that trauma and adverse events in childhood have a lasting impact on the lives and health of individuals, and this legislation seeks to limit traumatic events happening to our children at the hands of law enforcement officers.”