New York – February 1, 2021

Rochester Police Department continues to be under scrutiny for actions taken against community members who are experiencing mental health crises at the time of the police encounter.  Their professional actions seem to have been out of synch with the best interests of the citizens, and themselves.  A most recent encounter involved a 9-year old girl who was pepper sprayed and handcuffed while being placed in a police cruiser.  Last March, an encounter with a man who was experiencing mental changes due to the use of PCP resulted in his untimely death after being held to the ground, naked and handcuffed, with a mesh hood over his head.  The officers feared they would contract COVID-19 because he was spitting at them, so they held him down on the ground until he stopped breathing.  He was taken to the hospital where he was removed from life support a week later.

Dangerous police encounters.

Rising police brutality claims continue to erode trust in New York law enforcement personnel.  The incidence of negative police encounters in communities, coupled with increases in related personal injuries and death are commonplace.  Officers undergo various training exercises in their quest to make communities safer, but departments need to address more humane methods of dealing with an ever-growing population of individuals who have disabilities and mental health challenges.

De-escalation training in New York.

De-escalation training has proven to be an effective measure in many states, but is not mandatory in all of them. A study by the National Institute of Mental Health found that crisis intervention team-trained officers made fewer arrests, used less force and connected more people with mental-health services than their non-trained peers. Second, police need to learn how to slow confrontations down, instead of ramping up the anxiety and fear.  A police brutality lawyer can explain how the process is supposed to work to individuals who have been victimized to determine if they have a case.  Departments in the State of New York are not required to have de-escalation training, but are required to undergo annual instruction in deadly physical force and the use of firearms and other weapons.  Options for safe restraint measures should be highlighted in “de-escalation” tactics to slow down a police encounter allowing officers more time, distance, space, and tactical flexibility during dynamic situations on the street.

Protection from police brutality.

There are various federal and state laws including the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act, Title 42 United States Code, and Americans with Disabilities Act, to name a few, that insure remedy to individuals who have suffered the negative effects of police brutality.

Compensated damages.

Damages may include hospital/medical expenses; past and future disability payments; emotional distress including depression and anxiety; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death, or serious injury caused by police brutality.  Experienced legal counsel will utilize the supporting laws to build a case against negative illegal police encounters where victims rights were violated.

There are legal experts who can help police brutality victims in Rochester by:

  • Filing a formal department complaint;
  • Researching and applying current laws;
  • Filing civil or criminal lawsuits in court;
  • Hiring a legal support team;
  • Preparing the court appearance;
  • Representing victims in court;
  • Effectively mediating for a fair settlement.

Consult with an attorney.

Police brutality victims and their loved ones should call an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation to ascertain solutions toward successful damage settlements for victims of police brutality in New York.