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RPD officials to review use of force used in recent weapons arrest


Rochester Police have released body-worn camera video of an arrest of a 21-year-old man that occurred last Friday and said its Professional Standards Section will conduct an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Police released more information about the arrest of 21-year-old Roy Siplin Sunday after questions around the arrest were raised earlier in the day by his father. Roy Siplin Sr. said he had learned his son was punched multiple times by police when he was arrested last Friday.

Siplin Sr. told reporters early on Sunday that he wanted to talk to his son and find out more about his condition but was not able to get information. Siplin Sr. also said he had heard his son had a collapsed lung.

According to information released by RPD on Sunday night, Siplin was among three men arrested on criminal weapon possession charges after police investigated shots being fired on Pennsylvania Avenue near Fourth street Friday afternoon. Police say they tried to stop a car believed to be involved in the shooting, but the driver refused to pull over and eventually struck a utility pole. Officers say all three people in the car ran away but were later taken into custody.

Police say that officers saw that Siplin had a gun, and they say that they yelled at Siplin to stop, but he kept running. When police did catch up with him, police say he resisted arrest. Officials say that police struck Siplin in the face twice to get control of him and they say another officer took a gun from Siplin’s waistband.

Siplin could be heard on the video released by RPD saying that he couldn’t breathe. Officers say because of his complaint of breathing problems and a cut Siplin had on his hand, an ambulance took him to the hospital for treatment. Police said Sunday night that Siplin was in the hospital for injuries believed to be related to the crash of the car he was in.

Siplin Sr. told reporters Sunday that he just wanted some answers, and said he wasn’t able to sleep since learning of the incident.

Here is the body worn camera video released by RPD: (NOTE: it does contain graphic language)

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.