PAB releases report on use of force toward children; RPD says it’s eager to receive it

PAB report on juvenile use of force, RPD; eager to receive

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UPDATE — RPD says it received a copy of the report from the Police Accountability Board on Wednesday.

According to the PAB, the report was not sent to the chief’s email because of an “administrative error.”

“All of our reports, including this investigation, are made public on our website for anyone to read at any time. But, it was not our intention to imply the RPD received the report directly when that was not the case,” according to a PAB spokesperson.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Police Accountability Board published an investigative report that says most of RPD’s use of force incidents against people under 18 involve Black children.

The report defines “juvenile use of force” as any intentional physical strength or energy exerted to restrain someone under 18. The PAB says its findings are based on the review of more than 1,100 reports related to incidents involving youth in the City of Rochester. You can see the full report at the bottom of this story.

The PAB oversight investigation report is an analysis of interactions between children and the City of Rochester and police that resulted in some type of force. The PAB says this is the first lengthy look into systemic public safety data released by them.

Vanessa Cheeks, communications manager for the PAB, says they looked at over 1,000 reports. The bulk of it was provided by RPD to put together this PAB analysis. She believes it paints a picture. According to the report, there were 318 use of force incidents involving children.

“Maybe they were in a car that was involved in a traffic stop or in a home that underwent a search warrant,” Cheeks said.

Rochester Police say they haven’t received a copy of the report from the PAB and are unable to provide a comment to News10NBC. However, after seeing our online story about the report on Monday, RPD said in a statement that the 318 use of force incidents between December 2021 and May 2023 make up .001% of the calls.

Marsha Augustin: RPD says, to put that in perspective we had over 307,000 calls in that time frame. 318 is .001% of those calls.  

Vanessa Cheeks: Yes, but that’s 318 calls of use of force on children. It’s still a high number.

Among the PAB’s findings, 80% involved Black male children, 30% of the total incidents involved kids dealing with a mental health crisis and 11% involved search warrants. So, what’s the solution. I asked Cheeks if the PAB had sent a copy of the report to the RPD.

Marsha Augustin: Did RPD get a copy of the report?

Vanessa Cheeks: So, we do send a copy of the report to the mayor’s office and city council I believe Rochester Police Department was included on that.

Marsha Augustin: RPD is saying they have not received a copy of the report from you guys.

Vanessa Cheeks: As of today, I believe it was sent to them, but I can double check on exactly when it was sent to them.

Vanessa says the report was sent to RPD on Monday. News10NBC has reached out to the city. They confirmed the mayor did receive the PAB report and is reviewing it. The PAB added this investigation is about sparking a conversation between police and the community to address where do we go from here.