Rochester Cop Investigated for Handcuffing On-Duty EMT

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Screen grab of footage from the incident between Rochester investigator and EMT.
Screen grab of footage from the incident between Rochester investigator and EMT.

The video of a Rochester, NY investigator aggressively handcuffing a Black EMT went circulated on social media last week. The way he man-handled the woman drew criticism. Following the backlash from the incident, the officer is now going under investigation, according to Democrat & Chronicle.

According to WHEC’s report, the officer parked his car in the ambulance bay at Strong Hospital. While unloading a patient, the EMT hit the officer’s car with the door. While rolling the patient in on a stretcher, she stopped at the check-in desk. That’s when the officer charged toward her, pulling her arms behind her back and handcuffed her. By the way he hemmed her up, you would’ve thought she popped all four of his tires.

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He then took her out to the police car and demanded her identification though she insisted on completing the patient check in.

The Police Accountability Board has been slow to address complaints since its establishment in 2019 due to various issues including lack of software, reports say. Yet, they were ready to show up for this incident.

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This is the first investigation for the board in which the allegations of misconduct have been highly publicized, attracting media well beyond the region.

“The Police Accountability Board has been made aware of an incident involving a Rochester police officer that occurred recently at Strong Hospital. We are in the process of reviewing the information,” the PAB said in a statement. “Incidents like this, along with the nearly 100 additional reports the PAB received since opening our doors, continue to highlight the need for independent investigations into allegations of police misconduct.”

Monroe Ambulance, where the EMT works, also issued a statement, commending Police Chief David Smith and Mayor Malik Evans for the city’s initial actions.

Comments under the tweet of the video criticized the officer’s handling of the situation.

“When you’re a cop who parks in a space meant for ambulances, maybe you accept some responsibility when your squad takes a hit and don’t abuse your authority. Insurance will repair the vehicles. What will repair the relationships and reputations??” read one tweet.

Another tweet attached a dash cam video from 2009 when a Black paramedic was assaulted by Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers. Police Chief Smith said in a statement that he was “deeply concerned” about the situation and ordered an internal investigation.

“The member involved has been re-assigned to administrative duties, pending the results of this investigation. As Chief, I demand the members of the Rochester Police Department perform their duties in a professional manner. And as such, we must hold ourselves to a high standard of accountability,” the statement read.