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Witness Alleges Police Intimidation in Civil Rights Lawsuit

By Staff

 

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Pedro Luis DeJesus

Pedro Luis DeJesus, the Remington St. resident who initially reported to police that he saw officers approach and beat Rochester teen Ricky Bryant in August, said police are harassing him now that Bryant has filed a lawsuit against the Rochester Police Department.

“I’m scared for my safety,” DeJesus stated.

According to DeJesus, officers have been driving past his house making threatening motions with their hands, and recently attempted to coerce him into giving a new statement regarding the incident.

In a sworn deposition last summer, DeJesus said police assaulted Bryant, without asking any questions, before immediately taking him into custody.

“I refused,” DeJesus stated.

Bryant, who was subsequently released, with no criminal charges filed against him, has currently filed a civil rights lawsuit against the RPD.

During a press conference Wednesday, United Christian Leadership Ministry president Rev. Lewis Stewart said he would ask police chief Michael Ciminelli and Mayor Lovely Warren to address the matter.

This is a “pattern” of police behavior, Stewart stated.

Currently, the RPD has declined to comment on the matter since litigation is pending; however, the department has reportedly said it will conduct an investigation into any report of misconduct it receives.

UCLM also announced Wednesday that the Light the Way Gun Violence Awareness Committee, chaired by Lentory Johnson, would hold the “Light the Way Cafe” anti-gun violence event, Dec. 17, at Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word, at 597 East Ave.

Johnson’s son, Johnny Johnson, was killed in a mass shooting outside the Boys and Girls Club on Genesee St. last August.

“I tell everyone, I’m not just sitting behind four walls,” Johnson stated.

According to Johnson, the group will show the documentary “Under the Gun” during the event, then share reactions, and consider what actions to take regarding gun violence in the community.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, and will be free, and open to the public.

Visit https://vimeo.com/195682085 to view video of DeJesus’ statement regarding Rochester police, and https://vimeo.com/195694098 to view Johnson’s statement regarding gun violence, or click on the images below.

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