RPD responds to 2 controversial arrests

Created: June 29, 2020 06:31 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Police are looking into two controversial arrests from over the weekend that sparked outrage on social media.

It happened early Sunday morning.


Police say they saw a man pacing erratically on Bay Street and smashing a liquor bottle.

Officers say he told them, "I wish you would all kill me."

Police tell us he then fought with officers and bit one of them as they tried to handcuff him. According to Chief La’ron Singletary, RPD officers used pepper spray on the man who then said he couldn't breathe.

That's when Tobias Massey started recording the scene.

Officers say when they told Massey to step back, he refused and a scuffle started.

Massey was arrested for obstruction and resisting arrest. Those charges have since been dropped, but Massey believes that would not have been the case if there wasn't a video of what happened.

“When cops arrest you they don't arrest you easily they do it with force,” Massey said. “So he was literally just twisting my wrists...'yo, yo' I’m compliant get off me.’ Then I unlocked the door so my stepdad can see cause I was afraid for my life.”

Singletary explains that he can assess the situation and the officer's judgment, after the fact

“I have a little bit more time to look at the situation than the officer on the street,” Singletary said. “And the officer's perception, I have to marry that with what the reality is of the law, and if it doesn't match up, if it doesn't marry up, then we have to do what we have to do to make sure that we're doing the right thing."

The video that Massey recorded has been posted on social media, but he would not give us permission to show it during our broadcast.

As for the 23-year-old man whose arrest started this whole thing, he was treated at the hospital. He's charged with assault.

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