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Home / US / Rochester police and city officials sued for “inhumane” use of force against residents and protesters

Rochester police and city officials sued for “inhumane” use of force against residents and protesters



On Monday, a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Rochester City Government and police in New York City filed a lawsuit alleging decades of “inhumane” and racist police violence against demonstrators and residents.The lawsuit took place more than a year later by Daniel Prude Died in police custody, Leading the nation to condemn the police for using force in the city.

The lawsuit said: “Simply put, the astonishing historical record spanning forty years shows that the military practices of the Rochester Police Department are still uncivilized, racist, and run counter to the operation of civilized society.

A lawsuit filed by a group of lawyers, activists, and people who participated in the city’s protests alleges that Rochester police often deployed excessive force to ethnic minorities, especially during the protests, and that department and city officials punished such behavior aggressively. This nearly 1

00-page document details more than 50 incidents of suspected abuse of people of color by the police. The vast majority of police officers have never received formal disciplinary action.

As an example of a suspected pattern of behavior, the lawsuit focused on the use of force against protesters, military doctors, journalists, and legal observers who took to the streets to protest Prud’s death in September 2020.

Prude, a black man, died in March last year from a mental illness. His family called the police for help. At 3:15 am on March 23, Rochester police said they found Prud lying naked in the middle of the road.


After the death of Daniel Prude, the police were not charged.

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According to the interactive body footage, when Prud was lying in his stomach and handcuffed according to their orders, he then sat up and started yelling at the officer. The police then put a range hood on his head and pressed his face into the ground for more than three minutes. Prud eventually became dull and later died in the hospital.

The medical examiner ruled that his death was a homicide, attributed to “complication of asphyxiation under physical restraint” and “excitatory delusion” and PCP poisoning.Grand jury Refusal to charge Officers who participated in Prud’s death in February.

The circumstances surrounding Prud’s death were not made public until September 2020, when Prud’s family released footage of the incident’s body at a press conference on September 2. The news immediately aroused people’s indignation, and the first protest was made later that night.

In protests and demonstrations in the following weeks, the lawsuit accused the Rochester police of using “extreme and unnecessary force”, including tear gas, pepper spray, bludgeoning projectiles, pepper balls and other “less lethal” weapons. The lawsuit stated that in the first three nights of the protest, the authorities deployed 77 tear gas canisters and 6,100 pepper bullets.

Reynaldo DeGuzman, a Rochester photojournalist who participated in the protests, said at the press conference announcing the lawsuit: “To be blunt, all I have witnessed is horror, cruelty and unprovoked cruel treatment. ”

United States-Politics-Racism-Police
On the fourth night after the video of the death of the protester Daniel Prude was released, the protesters gathered in Rochester, New York, the Rochester police used pepper spray and tear gas, and the protesters gathered in New York.

MARANIE R. STAAB/AFP, Getty Images


The lawsuit details dozens of suspected police violence during the protests, including the September 3 incident in which a police officer allegedly shot a man in the eye with a “close-range” pepper ball, leaving him permanently blind. The military officer was accused of subsequently firing “intentionally” at medical personnel trying to provide assistance, even though these medical personnel were allegedly wearing bright red coats to confirm who they were.

The lawsuit alleges that on September 4, Rochester resembled a “war zone,” and officers “released flash grenades, tear gas and thousands of pepper pills into the crowd.”

The police allegedly trapped a group of protesters on the bridge that night before attacking them with multiple weapons-a tactic commonly referred to as “kidnapping”. “The video that night showed that the police used heavy-armored party armored with pepper-filled projectiles, 40mm kinetic energy bullets, tear gas and batons to attack groups of protesters containing only umbrellas, cardboard boxes and plastic children’s sledges. Military-grade armory that resists RPD.” The lawsuit said.

The lawsuit added: “For example, in New York, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets, and officials of the New York Police Department never fired a pepper pill.” “In contrast, an RPD official on September 4, 2020 In the evening of the day, 148 pepper balls were launched in just twenty minutes.”

New York protests continue due to the killing of Daniel Prud
Protesters used umbrellas to prevent tear gas fired by Rochester police during the Daniel Prude protest in Rochester, New York, USA on September 5, 2020.

Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


The lawsuit also accused city officials of implementing a “false internal disciplinary system” and refused to hold officials accountable for excessive use of force during protests or in their daily work.

The lawsuit stated that the chief of police maintained only 1.7% of the 923 civilian charges between 2001 and 2016. Among the 16 persistent cases, the most severe punishment is “to suspend 6 cases, most of which lasts from 1 to 20 days.”

The lawsuit said: “Because it failed to provide meaningful training, supervision, and discipline to officers who used excessive force, without evidence of suppressing officers’ misconduct and attacking departmental critics, New York City established violence and discipline in its ranks. A culture of impunity.”

In a statement to CBS News, New York City said Rochester Mayor’s lovely Warren “welcomes” the Department of Justice’s investigation into the police department and cited recent reforms implemented by New York City, including requiring new officers to live in the city. And the reason for allowing the mayor’s firefighters.

The lawsuit appoints Rochester city and police officials and hundreds of police officers as defendants, and seeks compensation for monetary damages and the appointment of an independent supervisor for the police department.

“If there is no external enforcement, the system will not change: So far, the U.S. Department of Defense has not expelled or punished any officer known to have used excessive force against Daniel Prud or any official who blatantly displayed force. The lawsuit says that in During the protests in September 2020, including those captured in the video, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit to end the decades-long use of violence and unconstitutional force by RPD-before more lives, more black and brown lives appear Lost.”

Neither the Rochester Police Department nor the union representing police officers immediately responded to CBS News’ request for comment.


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