Rochester, NY — A video posted to Facebook this week has caused quite the ruckus after a 10-year-old girl was handcuffed during a traffic stop on Sunday. The mother of the little girl, Aqueelah Sovereign El Bey is now demanding justice.
According to police, they initiated a traffic stop on Sunday over an expired inspection sticker. El Bey and her family are among those who do not believe the United States government and other state policies and laws apply to them, otherwise known as sovereign citizens. So, they don't believe they must pay for these government stickers to move freely throughout the country. They also believe that they have diplomatic immunity when being stopped or detained by those who claim authority over them.
El Bay told WROC that she still wants justice and she claims her daughter was harassed by police. El Bay said they are Moorish American Nationals, a sovereign citizen group that doesn't believe any American laws. She says the officers should have left her daughter alone.
As TFTP has reported over the years, many interactions with police and sovereign citizens have turned sour, fast. That appears to be the case here as the occupants of the vehicle respectfully refused to exit the vehicle over an expired government sticker.
The statement from police over the reason for the stop reads as follows:
The initial traffic stop was the result of the vehicle having an expired inspection from September, 2018. Furthermore, the vehicle did not have a front license plate which is also a violation of NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law. The driver refused to provide proof of a valid driver’s license when requested by officers. During the course of the investigation it was determined that the vehicle would be towed and the occupants were asked to exit the vehicle.
The occupants of the vehicle claimed to be of sovereign citizen status, where they do not recognize the rules of our society. They refused to cooperate with officers and asked for a supervisor. Per policy, the officers requested a supervisor to the scene and a sergeant responded to the location
When the supervisor showed up, they arrested everyone in the car, including the little girl who was placed in handcuffs. Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said the girl, along with everyone else, was handcuffed for the "safety" over everyone involved. Singletary also claimed the girl was running into traffic, a claim El Bay and the girl deny.
“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 traveling 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.”
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El Bay disagrees and says her daughter was threatened by police.
“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. "When she sees you and you constantly are harassing the family, it's a threat. Her thing is she saw them put their gloves on and she got immediately scared."
In the video, we can see that the 10-year-old girl's wrists are marked up from the handcuffs and amazingly enough, the girl told her mother that she was not actually scared the entire time. This was in spite of police reportedly threatening the girl with being taken from her family and given to CPS.
After the initial traffic stop three people were arrested and charged:
- 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
Since the stop on Sunday, El Bay and her family have been protesting outside the police station. Below is that video:
My 10 yr old is in the back seat of the police car going to jail fo3 no ID
Posted by Aqueelah Sovereign El Bey on Sunday, May 17, 2020