ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester police released an edited compilation of body camera footage, surveillance video, and photos from the night a man was shot during a fight with a police officer near First Street earlier in the week.
RPD Chief David Smith gave a media briefing Thursday, saying on the evening of September 25, an officer heard shots fired on Seventh Street while on patrol. The officer saw a vehicle fleeing 6th Street 28 seconds later and attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle pulled over on First Street, then sped away again when the officer got out of his car to approach.
After a brief police chase, the truck crashed into a pole at the intersection of Hemple Street and First Street. A man ran out and the officer ran after him, but lost him in a backyard on 1st Street.
That’s when police say the suspect “ambushed” the officer, tackling him to the ground and punching him in the head. The officer, struggling with his taser, was shocked by the device, which he then dropped.
Smith said the officer’s handgun was no longer in its holster, and the officer and suspect began to fight over the weapon. Police said five shots were fired from the gun during the fight, one of which hit the suspect in the jaw.
Additional officers arrived and provided first aid to the suspect on the scene and in the responding ambulance. He was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and underwent surgery. Police said they would release his name at a later time.
The officer was treated for a concussion, bruising, and taser burns.
Watch the full video [some may find the content disturbing]
The edited video provided by police Thursday begins with audio from the ShotSpotter activation on Seventh Street. It then shows surveillance footage from a convenience store on the corner of Seventh Street at Bay Street.
In the surveillance footage, a person wearing bright orange shoes and colorful clothing is seen raising his arm up in the air, and multiple flashes from something in their hand. Other people flee from the area.
Police allege this is video of the suspect firing a weapon.
The person then runs to the pickup truck in the bottom left of the screen and drives away.
The body-worn camera footage begins with the officer driving and the audio muted. The officer stops, exits his car, and turns the audio on. A pickup truck is parked in front of the officer, but it drives away within seconds.
After a chase lasting approximately 45 seconds, the officer exits his car again and shouts for the suspect to show him his hands. The suspect is wearing bright orange shoes and colorful pants.
The audio is distorted as the officer chases the suspect around a corner and into a nearby backyard. Brief glimpses of the suspect can be seen in the glow of the officer’s flashlight as the two run circles around the houses.
A taser is in the officer’s hand the next time it appears on camera. He points it at the suspect, but the camera goes black amid a struggle.
A crackling sound can be heard, then groans.
Someone says, “Shoot me man. Shoot me. Shoot me.”
“Back up,” another voice says.
There are two gunshots. “Shoot me,” the first voice says again. “Stop,” says the second.
“Shoot me,” is said again, then another gunshot. The “shoot me” two more times, followed by another gunshot, and another gunshot.
Distant sirens can be heard, through the video remains black. “The officer “Shots fired,” a voice says. “Need EMS.”
Another officer’s body camera footage picks up after a short time, arriving at the scene and running past the crashed pickup truck toward the sound of the first officer’s voice. The second officer has a gun drawn in the direction of the suspect on the ground.
As more officers arrive, some secure the scene and gather evidence. Others put on gloves and offer medical aid to the suspect, who is eventually loaded onto an ambulance.
The video ends with a photo slideshow featuring pictures of the crashed truck, a handgun beneath a brake pedal, a handgun in a driveway, a handgun and ammunition displayed on an envelope, and bagged powder.
Investigators said they found a revolver in the suspect’s crashed vehicle, and a handgun at the scene of the struggle. They said the suspect also had potential cocaine in his pocket.
This comes after some members of Rochester’s City Council called for the Police Accountability Board to launch a community-led investigation into the shooting, which they called unacceptable. RPD also says they investigating the situation thoroughly.