RPD ranks No. 1 for most use of force incidents in Upstate New York, new state report says

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(News 8 WROC file photo)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new report from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services says the Rochester Police Department had the most reported use of force incidents among all Upstate New York police departments between July 2019 and October 2020.

According to the report (full document below), state law requires each police department, sheriff’s office, and New York State Police to report incidents in which a police officer or peace officer used force against an individual while on duty to the DCJS.

This reporting took effect July 11, 2019 and the state law requires the DCJS to publish a use of force report on all incidents. Friday’s DCJS use of force report was the state’s first since that law took place, and includes incidents statewide between July 11, 2019 and October 31, 2020.

According to the report, in that time frame, the Rochester Police Department led all Upstate New York police agencies in total number of use of force incidents with 142 reported.

Upstate

  • Rochester (city) — 142
  • Syracuse (city) — 113
  • Troy (city) — 103
  • Elmira (city) — 101
  • Amherst (town) — 99
  • Schenectady (city) — 90
  • Jamestown (city) — 87
  • Albany (county) — 60
  • Schenectady (county) — 53
  • Buffalo (city)— 52
  • Newburgh (city) — 49
  • Rockland (county) — 47
  • Niagara Falls (city) — 37
  • Albany (city) — 36
  • Utica (city) — 35
  • Watertown (city) — 32
  • Onondaga (county) — 31
  • Oswego (city) — 20
  • Binghamton (city)— 16
  • Monroe (county) — 8
  • Erie (county) — 4

Downstate

  • New York City — 1,916
  • Suffolk (county PD) — 227
  • Nassau (county) — 79
  • Suffolk (county sheriff) — 55

State police

  • New York State Police — 289

According to the report, there were 286 total types of force reported in Rochester’s 142 reported incidents, including 264 reported incidents of chemical agents as the listed type of force, with the other 22 types reported being “impact, or electronic control weapon.”

With the report’s timeline from July 2019 through October 2020, it does cover the many number of protests in Rochester that followed the news of Daniel Prude’s death last September. Many of those protests saw clashes between police and demonstrators, including the use of pepper balls and rubber bullets.

Officials from the Rochester Police Department have not immediately responded to a request for comment on this report.

In New York, 48% of types of use of force involved an impact weapon or electronic control weapon. Firearms were used 36% of the time and chemical agents were used 16%. Less than one percent of incidents involved a chokehold/similar restraint, serious bodily injury, or death.

According to the report, 63% of all New York use of force incidents reported involved only one officer, while 20% of incidents involved two; 59% of incidents involved one officer and one subject and 17% involved two officers and one subject.

Of the 7,011 subjects arrested with use of force in New York, 49% were Black and 46% were white. Also, 86% percent were men and 20% were between the ages of 25-29.

Demographics among the officers involved in use of force incidents show 76% were white, 91% were male, and 53% were between the ages of 25-34.

Full report


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