‘I am a child!’ Pepper spray reflects policing of Black kids

A police officer using pepper spray against a handcuffed 9-year-old Black girl in Rochester, New York, shows that Black children are not exempt from law enforcement mistreatment of Black people. Advocates say societal stereotyping of Black children as appearing older than they are and as threatening or dangerous leads to officers treating them in ways they wouldn’t dream of treating white children. The child’s mother says she didn’t think the white officers saw her daughter the same way that they would have seen a white child. One study found Black children and teenagers were six times as likely to die from police gunfire as white children.