Syracuse police release body camera footage showing interaction with crying child
SYRACUSE N.Y. (WHEC) — Syracuse police released five clips from body camera footage showing the interaction between officers and four children who were accused of stealing bags of chips on Sunday.
A video that showed one officer detaining an 8-year-old during the interaction went viral on Twitter. The video shows the child crying in the back of a police car and Gov. Kathy Hochul called the video "heart wrenching" during a presentation she gave in Syracuse on Wednesday.
Syracuse Police Sergeant Mark Rusin said that the officer placed the child in his police car to take the child to his parents. Rusin said the child was not handcuffed.
One video presented at the conference shows officers finding the children by a sidewalk with the allegedly stolen chip bags. Officer took all four of them in police cars and one child can be seen crying, upon which the officer repeatedly says "stop". One man criticizes the officer for detaining the crying child. The officer responds to the man by saying "You, I’ll take to jail" and saying that the child is being detained for stealing.
After the officer brings the child who was crying to his father at his home, he tells the father that his son and three others were stealing chips from stores. A ten-minute video shows the father, the officer, the son, and the other detained children speaking to each other.
One officer says, "I don’t want to be seeing you guys like this again. I’m happy to say hi to you boys in the street and talk, but I don’t want to be tracking you down because you’re stealing from people again."
The mayor of Syracuse and deputy police chief also spoke at the conference. Mayor Ben Walsh said there are low points for the officers, the children, and the man who yelled at the officer, but overall, the situation ended positively.
Syracuse police redacted the children’s faces and any audio containing names of identifications.