Tensions run high during meeting over controversial RPD video

Local News

Tensions ran high turning a meeting with city leaders on Wednesday, regarding a controversial cell phone video involving members of the Rochester Police Department.

Officers say they told the woman in the video to back away. She says was complying with their orders when an officer suddenly tackles her to the ground.

She says just before that, she was yelling at officers because she says they were hitting her boyfriend, who was being arrested at the time.

She – and the man who stopped to take the video – were also arrested.

The meeting ended early because the crowd was so upset that council members were not audible above the shouting.

The point of the meeting, called by Councilman Adam McFadden, was to sit down with Police Chief Ciminelli to shed some light on that Facebook video and provide context.

There were more questions than answers, though, with no definitive answer as to whether or not the officer used excessive force.

Ciminelli said he was looking into it, adding that there are a lot of documents and video to review.

We caught up with Ciminelli afterwards to ask his opinion of the incident.

Reporter: “You are the face of the police department. Do you find it disturbing that witnesses say mace almost got in the child’s eye?”
Ciminelli: Any time there’s an interaction with civilians and police, it’s disturbing.”
Reporter: I think what people found disturbing was, she’s walking away and officer takes her from behind.”
Ciminelli: That will be adjudicated in court, and we’ll see where that goes.”

Ciminelli also said there are blue light camera videos that he says will shed more light on the incident, but no word on when those videos will be made available to the public.

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