NPR News does an analysis video “What Went Wrong: Analysis Of Police Handcuffing, Pepper Spraying 9-Year-Old Girl“. Using the body cam videos of several officers that responded to a domestic disturbance case, NPR asked three experts to analyze what happened. From the video, we see a young girl having difficulties and acting out. At one point she fights with her mom and tries to start a fight with a passerby. Then the police decide to handcuff her and force her into a police car. When she resists, they end up spraying her with pepper spray.
Obviously, something went horribly wrong. A 9-year-old should not have been treated this way. Unarmed, she posed no threat to the officers. Yet for some reason they felt she needed handcuffing and sprayed, something kind of extreme for the situation.
Analysis and Opinion of Police Actions
The three experts NPR asked to speak consisted of a former police officer, a mental health counselor, and a professor of African American studies. Honestly, I understand asking the former officer and counselor for the analysis of what happened at what the officers should have done. I don’t think they needed the professor, just because the girl had black skin. If this had happened to a white child would they have asked a professor of European American Studies?
Anyways, I do agree with most of the analysis. The officers reacted completely wrong and need better training on how to handle situations. They needed to remember that they were dealing with a child and listen to her. Sometimes children just need to be heard and that may have deescalated the situation. I do not think this shows systemic racism, more it shows a lack of training in dealing with young children. I wonder if any one of those nine officers hanging around has children. Maybe they should have stepped in and helped out rather than stand around and watch.