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Man in trooper altercation video speaks out

Andrew Hyman
Updated: January 12, 2020 11:12 PM
Created: January 12, 2020 10:58 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – The man who says he was on the receiving end of what New York State Police are calling an “altercation” is sharing his side to the story.

On Saturday, a video was sent to News10NBC that appeared to show a trooper and another individual engaging in a physical confrontation. The individual has now identified himself as Matthew Clement.

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"I never thought it would happen to me," Clement says. “If someone wasn't recording then, it would have just went unrecorded, and no one would have known."

Clement says he was waiting for the bus with his girlfriend at the Tops Plaza along State Route.96 in Farmington on Saturday when he says they started arguing and then police were called.

Clement says the trooper and an Ontario County Sheriff’s deputy showed up. Immediately, he claims, the trooper acted aggressively.

“I don't understand why, I was doing everything he asked," Clement says. "I was being cooperative."

The two exchanged words, and then things got physical. In the minute-long video, which was posted to Instagram, the trooper is seen yelling at Clement.

"How much did you pay? How much did you pay? Nothing!" he is heard yelling. The trooper then uses an expletive to tell Clement to be quiet.

After an additional exchange of words, the trooper shoves Clement, and then appears to put his hands around his throat.

Clement then repeatedly demanded the trooper's name and badge.

"I was actually scared for my life, because I have no way to defend myself," he says.

Clement was not in handcuffs at the time.

After seeing the clip Saturday, News10NBC showed the video to state police, During a briefing Sunday, Major Eric Laughton announced an investigation was underway.

"New York State Police takes any allegations of misconduct against our members quite seriously," Laughton said.

Laughton says troopers are allowed to put their hands on someone in a potential arrest situation, though he couldn't speak to this specific case.

"Now, through that investigation, if it's determined that there was a violation of law, and or a violation of New York State Police division policy, that individual would be held fully accountable," he said at the press conference.

Laughton did not name the trooper or say what preceded the video, though he did say the trooper was taken off road patrol and put on desk duty for the time being.

Andrew Hyman, News10NBC: “What ideally would you like to see happen here?"

Clement: "I don't want the man to lose his job, but something needs to happen, I mean... that was over the limit."

As for that sheriff’s deputy seen in the video, News10NBC sent a copy of the video to the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office. They differed comment to state police.

Major Laughton says no arrests were made in connection to the original call, and no injuries were reported.

Clement says he plans to file a complaint.


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