People gather in vigil for Todd Novick, against deadly force by police

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — People gathered for a candlelight vigil for Todd Novick early tonight on Murray Street.

Novick died after being shot by police during a chase on Christmas Eve.

Rochester City Councilmember Stanley Martin joined dozens of neighbors on Murray Street calling for an end to violence and spoke out against the use of deadly force by police.

“It has to change and we can’t wait for people to be killed until we start calling for change,” said Martin, who also said, This isn’t the first time a foot chase has ended in someone, someone’s life being ended and so many other lives being changed forever.” She said it’s “really essential” to take a look at the RPD’s foot pursuit policy.

Rochester Police Chief David Smith said, during a press conference last week, that the police body-worn camera speaks for itself. Novick, 46, took off running after being stopped by police and pulled out what appeared to be a gun.

“f”Fleeing is when you throw the gun down and run away, or when you are running away with a gun in your pocket. You are fleeing. you are trying to evade arrest . When you are running with a gun in your hand, I submit you are not fleeing. You are trying to obtain a better tactical position,” Smith said.

Investigators have determined the gun Novick was carrying was a pellet gun, but the chief says that in the moment, officers rely on training, and said the Attorney General’s Office’s investigation, as well as internal review, are ongoing.