By staff –
Rev. Lewis Steward and The United Christian Leadership Ministry say in the case between wheel-chair bound Benny Warr and the Rochester Police Department the jury failed to provide justice.
A federal Jury awarded Warr $1 in the lawsuit stemming from an incident in May, 2013.
Warr filed a lawsuit against the Rochester Police Department claiming officers violated his civil rights when they arrested him in 2013.
A video of the incident shows Warr being thrown to the ground by two Rochester police officers. One of the officers appears to strike Warr, and then a third officer arrives on the scene. The three officers eventually hand-cuff and arrest Warr.
The jury found that police officers acted inappropriately in the arrest but awarded War only $1 in damages.
In a press conference Friday Reverend Lewis Stewart addressed the verdict saying the jury denied justice to Mr. Warr.
“Over five years later, the trial ended in an appalling terminus,” Stewart said. “The results of the jury verdict was insulting to not only the black community but also to the physically challenged and to all who deserve a fair and just judicial system.”
Steward criticized the city attorney, Spencer Ash saying he was overzealous and engaged in deplorable and shameless behavior.
“Mr. Ashe defamed Benn Warr’s character by deliberately distorting the facts, bearing false witness and engaging in blaming the victim. He raised issues regarding Mr. Warr which was precluded at trial but he released them for the jury to hear.”
Stewart says the United Christian Leadership Ministry is calling for a new trial and asking that Mr. Ashe not serve as the City’s attorney during that trial. “Benny Warr and the community must have justice today, justice tomorrow and justice always,” Stewart said.