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RPD officers, accused of excessive force, suspended 

As community activists continue their push for major reform of police oversight in Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren and Police Chief Michael Ciminelli announced today that two officers have been suspended without pay related to  allegations of excessive force. And they have asked Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley to investigate possible criminal misconduct.

Rochester resident Christopher Pate says RPD officers stopped him in early May and questioned him about a crime they were investigating. After he provided identification proving he wasn't the suspect they were seeking, he said, they tased him, handcuffed him, and assaulted him. He was treated for injuries at Rochester General Hospital.
click to enlarge Christopher Pate (center) with his mother and the Rev. Lewis Stewart at a news conference in early August. - PHOTO BY RENEE HEININGER
  • PHOTO BY RENEE HEININGER
  • Christopher Pate (center) with his mother and the Rev. Lewis Stewart at a news conference in early August.

The officers charged him with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, charges that were dismissed by City Court Judge Maija Dixon.

Pate filed a complaint with the RPD, and its Professional Standards Section found that there was enough evidence to support internal charges against the officers for allegedly violating department policies and procedures. The RPD is continuing its investigation, which could lead to their firing, department officials say.

Warren and Ciminelli said today that they had reviewed information related to the incident as well as footage from police body cameras. Ciminelli said he had forwarded the matter to Doorley "because I believe the alleged actions involved may very well rise to the level of criminal prosecution."

The Rev. Lewis Stewart, president of United Christian Leadership Ministry, is holding a news conference tomorrow morning to discuss the developments.

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