US police under fire after pepper-spraying woman with toddler

NEW YORK: Police in the city of Rochester in the state of New York are again under scrutiny after a video showed them forcing a woman, holding her three-year-old daughter, to the ground and pepper-spraying her.

Police there had come under fire in recent months over two episodes that raised questions about their use of force.

Police body-cam video of the Feb 22 incident released on Friday, shows an officer stopping a woman on the shoulder of a road, telling her a business had accused her of stealing. The woman, with her daughter in one arm, insists she stole nothing and partially empties her purse to show the officer.

But when the officer refuses to let her leave, the woman turns and runs, her child still in her arms. Several officers give chase and force her to the ground.

When she tries to reach for her daughter, police use pepper spray to subdue her.

The city's Police Accountability Boardwas "disturbed" by the video. The woman was charged with trespassing and the arresting officer was put on administrative leave. - AFP