By Staff –
The Rochester Police Department has determined all but two of the complaints Rochester teenager Ricky Bryant filed against RPD officers after his alleged beating in August were “unprovable,” the family said at a press conference Wednesday.
Bryant filed a civil rights lawsuit against the officers last year, claiming the officers assaulted him after the Puerto Rican Festival.
Following a nearly nine-month long investigation, Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said in a letter to the family on March 28 that Bryant’s allegations of “unnecessary” or “excessive use of force” by the officers had been “unprovable,” and that, although Bryant had been denied medical treatment by the officers directly after the incident, officers had “acted in accordance with department policy.”
Bryant, who was 17 at the time, suffered a broken eye socket following the altercation with police, prior to which his family said he’d been falsely identified as a possible suspect with a gun.
Two of Bryant’s complaints, one that he was pepper-sprayed by an officer, and the other that the officers had failed to use their department-issued body cameras, were sustained by the investigation, Ciminelli said.
According to Charles Burkwit, Bryant’s lawyer, the city has currently filed a motion to dismiss Bryant’s lawsuit against police, which has resulted in the case being delayed.
“They moved to dismiss certain causes of action,” Burkwit stated. “So, by doing that, what’s happened with the case is that it’s now delayed. We are not able to go into any type of discovery; we’re not able to receive any discovery, until that motion is decided.”
“This is not fair to my son, because now it’s a struggle – at school, and at home,” Bryant’s mother stated. “Now, when he sees the police, he goes the other way. They come down our street, he goes back in the house. It’s not fair to him. Every day he wakes up with headaches. Every single day. …Before this, he didn’t have any problems.”
Rev. Lewis Stewart, and other members of a local coalition calling for police reform, recently called for the creation of a new independent civilian review board to oversee the review of citizen complaints.
Stewart said the group plans to call on the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, as well as the State Attorney General’s Office, to conduct an additional, non-partisan investigation into the matter.
“We are not anti-police,” Stewart stated. “We are pro-justice. …We want a system in place, policies and procedures which are Democratic, which are across the board, which are anti-racist, which are anti-biased and, in which all citizens are going to receive fairness and justice. And, clearly that has not been happening.”
Visit https://vimeo.com/212981910 to view video from the press conference, or click on the image below.