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More Body-Worn Camera Footage Released from Pepper-Spray Incident

Patti Singer
pattisinger@minorityreporter.net

An image from body-worn camera footage released Feb. 11 by the city depicts more of the incident in which a 9-year-old was pepper sprayed. City of Rochester.

Additional body-worn camera footage from the incident in which a Rochester police officer used pepper spray on a 9-year-old girl has been released.

“We are committed to being transparent and sharing all of the information and video regarding this incident and all of our investigations with the community,” Mayor Lovely Warren said in a news release announcing that more footage was available.

The Feb. 11 news release also announced that police disciplinary records now are available online and no longer require a Freedom of Information request.

The database publishes the disciplinary records of current RPD officers, and it will be updated as records are created.

The discipline records are available in response to the repeal of Section 50a of state Civil Service Law.

“It has been our goal to comply with the change in state law ensuring the public’s access to these records,” Warren wrote in the release. “I supported the repeal of 50a because our residents deserve to know what happens when they file a complaint. These matters are taken very seriously by our administration. By sharing these important records, our residents can be confident that their complaints are not only heard, but reviewed; and when our officers are found to be not in compliance with the department’s policies and procedures, they are held accountable.”

Regarding discipline related to the Harris Street incident, on Feb. 1 Warren ordered the suspension of the officers involved. On Feb. 12, the Rochester Police Department released their names:

  • Officer Alexander Lombard is currently suspended. Lombard has been with the department approximately 2 1/2 years.
  • Officer Chad Brady has been placed on administrative leave. Brady has been with the department approximately 5 1/2 years.
  • Officer Adam Bradstreet has been placed on administrative leave. Bradstreet has been with the department approximately 4 1/2 years.
  • Officer Hannah Schneeberger has been placed on administrative leave. Schneeberger has been with the department approximately 3 1/2 years.

An internal investigation is underway.

As for the newly released video footage, a total of 1 hour and 26 minutes now is available.

The video starts with the first officer responding to a call from a woman who reports her boyfriend took her vehicle. After the officer arrived, he learned that the child was in emotional distress.

About 16 minutes of body-worn camera footage had been released Jan. 31, two days after the incident.

That showed the initial encounter with the child and the mother, scenes of cars stopping, and an officer telling the child she will call her dad and trying to get her fully seated in a patrol car.

The additional footage starts with an officer at the house, talking with the mother about why she called police. The newly released footage captures all body-worn camera images, according to the city.

The video also shows an ambulance crew preparing to take the child to a hospital, police officers asking why she said she would hurt herself.

Additional views capture at least one officer telling others about the mother’s involvement and an officer chastising the mother for engaging with passersby. She can be heard apologizing.

The video also shows some officers who arrived with the initial call then responding to an apparent overdose nearby.

Warren said in the news release that the family has been connected to the city’s new Person in Crisis Team. The program that sends social workers or mental health professionals rather than police to select calls is in a pilot phase, and at this point police cannot call PIC for assistance.

The body-worn camera video is at https://youtu.be/BtJNUg8Ao7s.

Discipline files are at cityofrochester.gov/policediscipline.