Attorney General’s video of deadly police encounter differs slightly from RPD’s version

Body Camera Footage

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Video released by the Office of the New York State Attorney General of a Rochester Police officer shooting and killing a man running from police on Dec. 24, 2023 is very similar to what RPD released four days late.

The difference? The AG’s version is 20 seconds longer, and include some of Todd Novick’s last words.

“I was trying to put it down! I was trying to put it down!”

Todd Novick

The deadly encounter started Christmas Eve morning when someone called 911 about a man with a gun on Murray Street. When Officer Daniel Celiberti showed up, he found Novick and a couple of other people walking down the street.

Body-worn camera video shows Celiberti talking to the group.

“So what are you guys doing? Like right here, though. People have some-,” he says.

“We’re having a conversation,” Novick replies. “We’re talking. Okay.”

A second cop car arrives and you can see Novick take off running. He looks back and reaches into his waistband when the officer fire at him.

Four days later, RPD released its footage.

Chief David Smith highlighted when Novick looked back at officers.

“Fleeing is when you throw the gun down and you run away or when you’re running away with a gun in your pocket — you’re fleeing, you’re trying to evade arrest. When you are running with a gun in your hand, I assume that you are not fleeing, you are trying to obtain a better tactical position. There is a difference,” he said.

At the time, police called it a replica gun.

“Why is he carrying a replica gun? Does he possibly think it’s real? We don’t know. Maybe he just came into possession of it. Why, if he does know it’s a replica, doesn’t he simply say ‘I have this on me’ because there’s no law against it, and then he’s walking away,” Smith said.

The Monroe County Crime Lab analyzed the weapon and ultimately determined it was a pellet gun.

The AG’s compilation of the RPD body-worn camera video runs 20 seconds longer than RPD’s and includes Novick saying he was trying to drop his weapon. News10NBC reached out to the police department and asked about its guidelines for editing videos.

A spokesperson declined to comment and said the department is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the AG’s investigation.

News10NBC also reached out to the Police Accountability Board to see how extra information like this may affects its investigations. A spokesperson tell us in a statement that it only receives what the public gets and that its members are still waiting on key information and reports for nearly a dozen cases – including this one.

Officer Celiberti is currently on administrative assignment, a decision made by him and the rest of the department.