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Former Rochester Police Officer gets probation on assault conviction

Spectrum News

The former Rochester Police officer convicted of assaulting a man has been sentenced to three years probation.

Michael Sippel was convicted of misdemeanor assault in May after Christopher Pate was punched in the face. Pate was initially accused of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Those charges were later dismissed. Pate has said he was tased, handcuffed and assault in a case of mistaken identity. Sippel was later fired by the RPD.

The Democrat & Chroniclereports that City Court Judge Thomas Rainbow Morse spoke for nearly 90 minutes before imposing the sentence on Monday, explaining why he concluded that Sippel’s use of physical force was excessive.

Mayor Lovely Warren released a statement saying that “there is no excuse for a resident of our city to be beaten for simply walking down the street.”

The police union, the Rochester Police Locust Club issued a statement saying that an appeal has been filed by Sippel’s attorney. The statement also says this case “highlights the difficulty and the subjectivity of reviewing video footage of an incident.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.