From [HERE] Two white Rochester Police Department officers have been suspended without pay over allegations of excessive force in a May incident, Mayor Lovely Warren announced Tuesday. The Monroe County District Attorney's office will review the case to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.
Both officers have been brought up on internal charges and suspended pending disciplinary proceedings that could, if sustained, result in the termination of their employment with the department.
Christopher Pate, 37, said he was approached by officers in an unmarked vehicle at Fulton Avenue and Bloss Street around 4:45 p.m. on May 5. Officers claimed that Pate matched the description of an individual on their "most wanted" board.
Pate said that after he provided his identification and proved he wasn't the person they were seeking, the officers continued to escalate the situation and initiated a physical confrontation.
According to Pate, the officers tased and handcuffed him then punched him repeatedly, breaking bones in his face.
“I saw the officer on top of him, beating him," said Tina Davis, who saw the incident happening right outside her front door on Fulton Avenue, near Bloss Street. "The guy was yelling and asking him why are they beating him, because he wasn’t resisting or anything, because he wasn’t. From that point on, they took him down to the ground and was on top of him and being real aggressive.” [MORE]
During a press conference Tuesday, the chief and mayor said, after reviewing the body-worn camera footage, they believe the purported actions of the officers rises to the level of possible criminal charges.
If every Rochester police officer were as merciless as the two cops who allegedly beat Christopher Pate, nearly every pedestrian in the city would be in line for a broken face.
That’s because Pate’s alleged crime was jaywalking. The cops called it disorderly conduct. But it was jaywalking.
The cop's version of the episode was detailed in an incident report filed by one of the officers after Pate was arrested, and in the criminal complaint against Pate that a Rochester City Court judge dismissed after recognizing it for the trumped-up nonsense it was.
McAvoy wrote in his report that Pate fit the description of a wanted man who was black, had a thin build and a large forehead, and wore dreadlocks or braids. McAvoy reported that he got out of the cruiser and approached Pate, who was on the south side of the street.
“(Pate) changed his direction of travel, wouldn’t look at me, and began to walk northbound across Bloss Street and in doing so impeded the vehicular traffic of a gray Honda sedan that was traveling eastbound on Bloss,” McAvoy wrote.
McAvoy wrote that he asked Pate whether he had identification, to which Pate reportedly replied, “Have a good day, officer.”
“This exchange happened several times and then I grabbed (Pate) by the hand, at which point he told me that I had no reason to stop him,” McAvoy wrote.
His report went on to read that Pate showed a public assistance card that revealed Pate was not the wanted man. [so stop was over]
Right then, McAvoy wrote, he noticed his body camera had somehow turned off. He reported that he “disengaged momentarily” to turn his camera back on.
In the meantime, Pate went on his way, only to be confronted from behind by Sippel, who asked Pate to stop and show his identification.
Hadn’t Pate just been through this? That might have crossed Pate’s mind because, according to the report, he refused to stop and kept walking eastbound, this time on the north side of Bloss, before turning north onto Fulton.
“In front of 75 Fulton Ave. we caught up to (Pate),” McAvoy wrote. “After a use of force (Pate) was taken into custody.”
Because Pate was too beaten up to go to be processed at the police station, he was issued a ticket to appear in City Court three days later to answer the charges against him. Pate was arrested on two charges — disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. What was disorderly about his conduct? [none of what the cops said in their reports should be taken seriously -testi-liars]
No wonder Chief Michael Ciminelli said at a news conference Tuesday announcing McAvoy’s and Sippel’s unpaid suspension that Pate should’ve never been arrested.
“It wasn’t even that officers went too far in making an arrest,” Ciminelli said. “This arrest should not have been made in the first place, and it triggered a series of events that was frankly outrageous.”
Pate appeared at a news conference earlier this month with the Rev. Lewis Stewart, an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform in Rochester.
"There is a war being perpetrated on black men both locally and nationally by law enforcement," Stewart said. "The only way this kind of behavior will be stopped is if we make an example of these cops. We need to let them know that the public condemns violent racist behavior perpetrated by those who are supposed to protect and serve."
Stewart said that the case is part of a broader problem within the police department.
"There is a history of black men who are given bogus charges after being physically assaulted by the police." Stewart said. "No person, whether a suspect or a perpetrator, should be subjected to a beating."
Stewart said that Pate filed a complaint with the Center for Dispute Settlement. Earlier this month, a notice of claim was filed, a precursor to a potential lawsuit. His attorney Mark Foti has yet to see the body camera footage, but said he has spoken to individuals who have seen the footage.
"Everything we’ve heard suggests that the portions of the interaction caught on video display a very excessive use of force," Foti said. [MORE]