Class-action federal civil rights go well with filed in opposition to Rochester police and metropolis officers alleging racism and extreme drive

Plaintiffs include those who allege excessive violence and / or falsely arrested in protests against the death of Daniel Prude, who died in police custody in March 2020, “These included batons, tear gas, lightning grenades, armored vehicles and police dogs “It said in the suit.

Lore McSpadden-Walker was with a group of protesters when they came across police. McSpadden-Walker alleged excessive violence and falsely arrested. Despite keeping her hands up, McSpadden-Walker claims an officer “forcibly grabbed” her and “hit her shoulder on the floor,” the file said.

Another plaintiff, Reynaldo DeGuzman, a professional photojournalist, claims he was “subjected to excessive violence” during several protests in May and September for “legally videotaping and documenting the police’s violent reaction to peaceful demonstrators”. According to the lawsuit, an RPD official “shot DeGuzman in the neck with a pepper ball from about six feet away.” A third concerned Emily Good, a local resident and legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild Rochester, who claims she is designed to “document the police’s violent response to peaceful demonstrators”. Good also claims RPD officials shot her with pepperballs and exposed her to tear gas.

Dynasty Buggs, a plaintiff suing the RPD over an incident unrelated to Prude’s death or subsequent protests, alleged the RPD sprayed her with pepper spray “during a routine traffic obstruction” in December 2019. Other plaintiffs include Free the People Rochester, an activist group and National Lawyers Guild Rochester.

In addition to RPD and some of its officials, the city of Rochester, its mayor and other law enforcement agencies are named as defendants in the complaint.

The Mayor of Rochester and senior officials have information about Daniel Prude's death Daniel Prude’s death in RPD custody in March 2020 – which was not made public until six months later, in September 2020 – sparked several protests in September, and the RPD’s response to them was the turning point in the filing of the lawsuit . Documents filed in the US Western District of New York show. Police dash and body camera footage released to the public months after the incident showed officials handcuffing a naked Prude and covering his head with a “spit sock” after he claimed he had the coronavirus and was spitting . The officers held him and pushed him to the ground in a prone position, as evidenced by the video, which also showed officers kneeling on Prude, who died a week later from traumatic brain damage who has a pattern of policing related to the use of force, Conducted stops and other law enforcement actions against people of the same color. “The lawsuit cites a dissertation by Charles LoFaso that analyzed more than 3,000 RPD reports on the use of violence between 2011 and 2016. It concluded:” The frequency and severity of violence is in neighborhoods with a higher percentage of blacks and Hispanic residents higher. ”LoFaso found that 78.3 percent of incidents of violence in Rochester were among residents of this population.

The plaintiffs also accuse Rochester City officials of being indifferent to the “pervasive problem of racism”. They cited “more than fifty incidents of RPD officials using excessive force against people of color” and named 17 people, including Prude, who were “killed as fatalities” as a result of their encounters with the RPD. “

The video shows police officers in Rochester, NY pleading with a man armed with a knife before fatally shooting him

Plaintiffs in the case are calling for a range of reforms in addition to damages and punitive damages, including an independent monitor to manage police reforms, added protection against the protesters’ alleged violation of the protest by First Amendment, and an explanation of previous police actions in the lawsuit as unconstitutional.

Katie McCarthy, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, told CNN “It is too early to say” what the scope of the damage claimed might be, but she said no specific monetary award amount had been given as she did not sure if more cases will be added.

City responds to lawsuit

The RPD moved to comment from Mayor Lovely Warren’s office, while the Rochester Police Locust Club, the union that represents RPD officials, refused to comment.

Daniel Prude's son files lawsuit against Rochester and city police officers for wrongly claiming death

In a press release on Monday, Rochester city communications director Justin Roj cited recent city and ministry reforms, including the mayor’s ability to fire officials with good reason, enforce the use of body-worn cameras and a revised protest response plan.

“Mayor Warren welcomes a Justice Department review,” said Roj. “Indeed, last September Mayor Warren officially asked them to conduct a thorough investigation into the Rochester Police Department and offer reforms to address any civil rights violations that may be found.”

“Everyone wants a Rochester that has safer, more vibrant neighborhoods, more jobs and greater educational opportunities. Promoting a law enforcement agency that works with citizens leads to that goal,” he continued.

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