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RPD officers suspended after excessive force allegations

Aug 28, 2018

Mayor Lovely Warren, center, along with City Councilman Willie Lightfoot, left, and Police Chief Mike Ciminelli, announced the suspensions and condemned the event during a press conference.
Credit Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Two Rochester Police Department officers accused of excessive force have been suspended without pay, according to city officials.

The Monroe County District Attorney's office is also looking into possible criminal charges.

Mayor Lovely Warren says she was angered by the incident.

"I've seen the footage and what I saw not only angered me and troubled me, but it hurt me to my heart."

The police department plans to make body camera footage of the alleged assault available when its internal investigation is complete.

The incident occurred on May 5, when a Rochester man was picked up for matching the description of a wanted criminal. He says he was assaulted during the subsequent arrest.

At a press conference, Police Chief Mike Ciminelli condemned the event.

"This arrest should not have been made in the first place, and that triggered a sequence of a events that are frankly outrageous."

The officers have not been identified. One has been with the force for six years; the other for nine.

City Councilman Willie Lightfoot says this incident has also hastened attempts to establish a Police Accountability Board. He says City Council is submitting a draft of a plan to the public later this week.