ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The family of the man arrested during a physical altercation reached out to News 8 calling the use of force involved in the Remington Street arrest excessive and unnecessary, but the chief of police says officers did what was necessary to arrest what she called a dangerous man.
“Not pretty”. That is what the Rochester Police chief is calling this arrest of Jarvis Lewis.
Lewis’s finance, Kanijah Gibson who reached out to news 8, was there when it happened.
“When I ran down the street, I seen one of the police officers in uniform punching him in his face,” said Kanijah Gibson, fiancé of Jarvis Lewis.
Gibson describes the arrest as unnecessarily physical. She talked to Lewis, and updated us on his injuries.
“His face is still swollen his neck is still swollen,” said Gibson.
The question of whether officers used excessive force is at the center of an internal investigation.
The Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan saying at this press conference early this week, Lewis had a criminal past. Convicted of robbery and rape, Lewis went to prison in 2007. He was released last year and was on parole when officers spotted him on Remington St. wanted in connection with a shooting. A loaded gun was discovered during the struggle.
The chief saying officers did what was needed given that he refused to be handcuffed.
“I’m happy that even though it didn’t look pretty no one was serious hurt,” said Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan.
News 8 also asked national public safety expert Cedric Alexande rto review the video from a technique perspective. After watching he says an internal investigation is important to give the community answers, but he sees a chaotic situation.
“They understand the scrutiny in which they as police officers are working up under but they have a right to protect themselves. I think it becomes important as we look at this video and some of us as put ourselves in that position,” said Cedric Alexander, national public safety expert.
“I think it becomes important not to nit-pick this case but certainly continue to have your internal investigation, because I think that would give credibility to the community and everyone that was involved. But I also think we have to be very very careful here not to scrutinize these officers under a very dangerous situation in which themselves and others innocent people could have been injured or killed.”
One investigator was put on administrative leave, but the chief says he has since resumed duty. The internal investigation is still ongoing.