Release of body cam footage for police-involved shooting prompts response from victim’s family

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UPDATE: ROCHESTER, N.Y. Family members of the man killed in a confrontation with police in Rochester’s Park Avenue neighborhood are speaking out after the release of body camera footage Friday.

Relatives of 35-year-old Brendon Burns, who was shot and killed by RPD and Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies during a chase earlier this month, say they weren’t given any advanced notice the bodycam video was going to be released Friday. Brendon Burns’ father said that his son “didn’t need bullets. He needed medication.”

In newly released body cam video, Burns is seen being chased by a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy. At one point, it appears Burns turns to put his hands near his waistband. The deputy who was chasing Burns said that the suspect flashed a metallic object he thought was a gun before firing twice.

An undercover deputy got out and fired twice, missing both times. About a block later, Burns ran through the parking lot of School #23 with, what police said, looked like a knife in his hand. According to authorities, Burns eventually got to a white car and drove away, shortly after opening the back door and removing a bag.

Burns has been wanted for multiple alleged shootings on Monroe Avenue in Rochester and in Brighton. According to newly released body cam footage, Burns can be seen in the backyard of a home, bending over and pulling two parts of a gun out of a bag. That is when he was fatally shot by both Rochester Police and Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies.

In a statement, Brendon Burns’ sister, Lesley-Herbert Burns, said that “they are devastated and this has uprooted our lives.” The Burns family questions how this situation was handled by law enforcement. Both officials and the Burns family will be waiting for the results of the New York State Attorney General’s Office results of their investigation.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office have released the body camera footage showing officers and deputies fatally shooting Brendon Burns.

WARNING: The following videos contain disturbing content and graphic language. You can view MCSO’s footage below.

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You can view RPD’s footage below.

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Burns was killed on March 20 on Milburn Street near Francis Parker School No. 23, after a police chase through the Park Avenue neighborhood. RPD says the Burns pointed a shotgun toward law enforcement and threatened them with a large hunting knife.

According to RPD, hours before he was killed, Burns was accused of firing shots into a car in Brighton during a road rage incident. He was also accused of firing shots into a closed business on Monroe Avenue days before.

The family of Burns says he suffered from severe mental health issues. Here is a statement they sent days after Burns was shot to death:

“Brendon Tyler Burns was my beloved little brother.  On behalf of myself, Lesley his sister, his Mother, Father, older brother, sister, nieces, nephew, aunts and uncles,  I am speaking a few words here. Despite what was witnessed of his actions,  Brendon truly was such a kind, gentle, and unique soul. He loved Jesus with all his heart and soul. He was lost, he was deeply suffering.  He suffered tremendously with severe mental health issues and I only wish I or someone could have helped him some how. My mother took care of him to the best of her ability and would have died for him with the deep love she had for Brendon. She got to witness her youngest son suffer for so many years, then watch him get shot several times and fall to the ground in a chaotic scene to death.  Can any mother imagine this?! My family and I never imagined this horrific day would be the end. He clearly wasn’t in his right mind and to be killed is something we will never recover from. This was not right. Until this investigation is complete, we still are questioning many factors of the validity of what was reported and ultimately the way this situation was handled by law enforcement. He truly was such a handsome, funny, great guy.  His family and few friends he had throughout his short life can attest to that. The outcome of this situation is gut wrenchingly devastating for my entire family.  The word tragic doesn’t even come close.  This is like a horror movie to us.  The general public only sees the surface but look a little deeper into the suffering that Brendon experienced and now us his family that deeply loved and cared about him.  Jesus please take care of my little brother Brendon Tyler Burns.  Wrap your loving arms around my sweet brother and welcome him to your beautiful kingdom of heaven where we will all meet again someday. I do know now that you are finally at peace and will be laughing and smiling your beautiful smile from ear to ear for the rest of time. I want to clarify that in no way, shape or form am I or any one in my family saying my brothers actions were acceptable. We simply don’t have all the facts and proof yet and we need to see more clear footage from the body cam from the officer involved. We are in too rough shape right now to even think about this investigation.”    

RPD released the following statement Friday afternoon:

MCSO released the following statement Friday afternoon: