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Sherrilyn Ifill in Baltimore Sun on Pepper-sprayed 15 Year-old Girl By Police: When Trained on Only a Hammer, Everything's a Nail

Friday, September 23, 2016

Baltimore Sun: Attorney for 15-year-old girl pepper-sprayed by Hagerstown police slams chief for justifying actions

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the video shows that all of the officers need more training and that the officer who pepper-sprayed the girl is unfit for duty.

"It's clear that these police officers are ill-equipped to deal with this young woman," she said. "This is one of the reasons why I have talked about the need to train police officers more intensely to engage with young people or people with mental illness or who are in mental distress.

"When you only have a hammer and have only been trained on how to use a hammer, then everything's a nail."

Ifill said she did not know all the details of what happened, but the incident could have been handled better, especially considering that the girl had just been injured in an accident.

Ifill was more direct about the officer who pepper-sprayed the girl.

"When you see that, you see somebody who should not be engaged in any way with the public," she said. "This is not someone who should be equipped with weapons. That was sadistic. He sprayed into that car window as if she was an insect, simply to deal with what was for him an annoyance."

Read the full article here.

 

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the video shows that all of the officers need more training and that the officer who pepper-sprayed the girl is unfit for duty.

 

"It's clear that these police officers are ill-equipped to deal with this young woman," she said. "This is one of the reasons why I have talked about the need to train police officers more intensely to engage with young people or people with mental illness or who are in mental distress.

 

"When you only have a hammer and have only been trained on how to use a hammer, then everything's a nail."

 

Ifill said she did not know all the details of what happened, but the incident could have been handled better, especially considering that the girl had just been injured in an accident.

 

Ifill was more direct about the officer who pepper-sprayed the girl.

 

"When you see that, you see somebody who should not be engaged in any way with the public," she said. "This is not someone who should be equipped with weapons. That was sadistic. He sprayed into that car window as if she was an insect, simply to deal with what was for him an annoyance."Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the video shows that all of the officers need more training and that the officer who pepper-sprayed the girl is unfit for duty.

 

"It's clear that these police officers are ill-equipped to deal with this young woman," she said. "This is one of the reasons why I have talked about the need to train police officers more intensely to engage with young people or people with mental illness or who are in mental distress.

 

"When you only have a hammer and have only been trained on how to use a hammer, then everything's a nail."

 

Ifill said she did not know all the details of what happened, but the incident could have been handled better, especially considering that the girl had just been injured in an accident.

 

Ifill was more direct about the officer who pepper-sprayed the girl.

 

"When you see that, you see somebody who should not be engaged in any way with the public," she said. "This is not someone who should be equipped with weapons. That was sadistic. He sprayed into that car window as if she was an insect, simply to deal with what was for him an annoyance."