ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Video has taken hold of the local Facebook community showing a 10-year-old girl getting handcuffed during a traffic stop this weekend. Rochester police explained the reasoning behind the decision Monday as the mother is demanding justice.
Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary says it was part of a regular traffic stop on Route 104 Sunday. The car had a missing front plate and the inspection expired in 2018.
Singletary says officers were trying to protect the girl, who officers say kept running towards oncoming traffic on 104.
While the police chief says the 10-year-old girl was handcuffed primarily for safety reasons, the girl’s mother, Aqulleah Soverign El Bay, says she still wants justice and she claims her daughter was harassed by police. El Bay says since they’ve become sovereign citizens, they don’t believe any American laws.
“For someone to arrest a ten-year-old, and take her to jail because she’s scared? And put handcuffs on her, and hurt her wrists? And you know, too tight. She was screaming,” El Bay said.
According to police, the driver refused to provide proof of a valid driver’s license when requested by officers. Police then determined that the vehicle would be towed and the occupants were asked to exit the vehicle. Police say the occupants of the vehicle claimed to be of sovereign citizen status, where they do not recognize the rules of our society. The driver claimed to have “diplomatic immunity” which was determined to not be the case, according to police.
“The 10-year old was asked a few times by the officer to get out of the roadway for everyone’s safety,” Singletary said. “Cars were travelling down to the expressway. The 10-year old during the encounter tried to pull away from the officers, and based on the information I have right now, the officer made a decision to handcuff to assist in controlling the actions of the 10-year old and for the safety of all involved.”
Chief Singletary says the girl was not sent to jail, as the mother has claimed, and the chief added that claims of sovereignty turned out not to be true.
Police say three people were arrested for obstructing governmental administration, and vehicle and traffic charges, and some with resisting arrest. Chief Singletary did add an investigation into the officer’s actions is underway within RPD.
The three people arrested and charged were:
- 42-year-old Sharelle Campbell: Obstructing Governmental Administration
- 21 year old Aquil Majors: Obstructing Governmental Administration, cracked windshield, no inspection sticker, and unsafe tires
- 21-year-old Sophia Dover: Obstructing Governmental Administration, resisting arrest
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.