Rochester police accused of punching man during arrest, RPD defends officers’ actions

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Police Department is responding after new allegations of police brutality emerged Sunday.

Roy Siplin Sr. said RPD officers arrested his son, Roy Siplin Jr. on Friday afternoon. In a press conference held Sunday, Siplin said his son was punched in the face by officers after he was handcuffed and he needed hospitalization.

Siplin said he was told his son was taken to Rochester General Hospital but when he reached out to confirm, he was told there were no records of his son being there. The family also says neither they nor their lawyer has been able to speak to Siplin since his arrest.

In a statement released Sunday night, the RPD confirmed Siplin was punched at least once in the face by an officer. The department said the officer hit the suspect because he was holding on to a fence and wanted to gain control of his arm. Siplin was also carrying a gun, police said.

“Due to Siplin’s resistance to arrest, his refusal to comply with the Officers’ order to let go of the fence and to place his hands behind his back, and the fact that Siplin was known to be armed with a handgun, one officer struck Siplin in his face in an attempt to gain control of Siplin’s arms. A third female Officer then approached the scene and was able to retrieve the handgun located in Siplin’s waistband, while the other two officers continued to take Siplin into custody. No other strikes or impact techniques were alleged by Siplin,” the Sunday release said.

Siplin was also involved in a car crash prior to his arrest, police said. He and two other men were arrested, officials say, after they refused to pull over. The driver of the car crashed into a sign on Union Street in Rochester, and all three occupants fled the scene.

RPD provided a YouTube link to the body-worn camera footage from the incident, found below. The video may be disturbing to some, and includes graphic language.

“At this point, I don’t know what’s going on with my son. I don’t know if he’s alive. It’s scary. I haven’t been able to sleep during this incident and I just want some answers. If he’s arrested and in the hospital, I want to speak to him.” said Roy Siplin Sr, Siplin’s father.

Siplin also claims his son was not read his Miranda rights when he was taken into custody.

All three suspects, including Siplin, were charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

The three-page police statement said Siplin was transported to an area hospital, but does not specify which hospital, a detail News 8 has reached out to RPD to confirm.

Check back with News 8 as we continue to update this developing story.

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