Officer Michael Sippel is charged with misdemeanor assault.
Officer Michael Sippel and fellow RPD officer Spenser McAvoy were accused in a wrongful arrest case, which alleged that the two beat Christopher Pate on May 5, 2018. Pate said after providing his identification to the officers, he was grabbed, had a stun gun used on him, then was handcuffed and subsequently punched in the face, causing occipital bone and jaw fractures, as well as other damage to his mouth.
The case was determined to be one of mistaken identity, and all charges were dropped by Rochester City Court Judge Maija Dixon.
Christopher Pate, 37, said he was approached by white 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]
A grand jury decided to drop charges against McAvoy, but found the evidence against Sippel was enough to charge him.
In court on Wednesday, the judge reviewed body camera footage of the incident which was made public for the first time. It shows the encounter Pate had with the two officers last May including blood on the ground and the moment he was tased. Said video is above.