Updated: June 11, 2021 09:05 AM
Created: June 10, 2021 03:52 PM
Editor's note, we've changed the language surrounding our description of the contents of video to reflect the specific edits made.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Police released footage of an incident in which a man was held down and kicked during an arrest on Remington Street on June 5.
The blue light video shows the incident from the very beginning when police first arrived on scene and began talking to 31-year-old Jarvis Lewis. Video given to News10NBC by eyewitnesses earlier this week starts much later in the incident.
The new footage can be seen below. Mobile users: click here.
Warning: Some viewers may find this video disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
Police say they were actively searching for Lewis, a suspect they say was involved in at least 2 prior shooting incidents in the city. Saturday evening he was spotted on a blue light camera sitting in front of a home on Remington Street. Moments after officers approached him, Lewis, who police say was armed with a gun tucked in his waistband, tried to run, but the officers tackled him in the middle of the street where he resisted their efforts to arrest him.
"What if he had that gun when the officers approached him?" Interim Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan asked. "What if he elected to pull it out and use it? We could've had another officer-involved shooting. We did not."
Some say excessive force was used as police kicked and punched Lewis numerous times. The police chief defended her officers' actions.
"Let's be honest, it just doesn't look pretty, but that's the reality sometimes of what law enforcement has to deal with, " Herriott-Sullivan said. "The goal there was to get him handcuffed and get him secured."
The department Thursday released a nearly 14-minute video of the incident. The video was edited to contain annotations, as well as additional video besides the blue light camera video, the department said it's trying to be as transparent as possible.
"To get information out as soon as we can because we know that when things like that are out there kind of floating out in the community and universe, and we don't give the public some context, so they understand what's going on you know there's plenty of room, and opportunity for some people to kind of fill in the void with information that's not correct," Herriott-Sullivan said.
Rochester Police Accountability Board Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds disagrees, saying this video does nothing but provides incomplete information. The video doesn't have any audio, which the board relies on to do their own investigation.
"Body-worn camera footage that can show a little context has yet to be released," Dwyer Reynolds said. "So we're not going to comment on any judgments, not right now."
When the body-worn camera video will be released is still unknown. One officer who was placed on administrative leave will return back to work on Friday.
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