Complaint of police brutality, Rochester police release bodycam footage of the traffic stop incident

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The Rochester Police Department released body camera footage of a May traffic stop Tuesday, after a local advocacy group claimed it was an incident of police brutality.

According to the RPD, officers saw a car with an expired inspection on Morrill Street around 2:00 p.m. on May 7. While they ran the license plate through the DMV database, police said the car turned onto Remington Street then Dale Street without using its turn signal.

Police stopped the car on Dale Street. The body worn camera footage provided by the RPD begins at that point.

In the video, an officer approaches the car and knocks on the rear driver’s side window. The driver rolls down the front window, and the officer tells him to roll down the back window. The driver asks the officer why the officer’s gun is out. The officer says it’s because the driver wasn’t pulling over.

Another officer walks up to the passenger side of the car. “The problem is we can’t see in the car,” he says. “The tint is way too dark. Just roll the back windows down. Just roll the back windows down for us. We can’t see anything in the back of the car. Is there anybody back there? Okay, just roll the windows down before we break them. How does that sound?”

“I’m going to pull you out of the car if you don’t roll your back window down,” the first officer says. Then he grabs the driver’s door handle and asks, “what are you doing?”

“You’re doing too much,” the driver says, rolling up his window.

The officer orders the driver to get out of the car 13 times before returning to the patrol car and grabbing a device to break the window. When he returns to the suspect vehicle, the other officer suggests he give the driver a “last chance.” The officer tells the driver to get out of the car again, and says four times that he is about to break the window.

He then breaks the window.

“What is your problem,” the driver says. “Chill out!”

Police pull the driver out of the car as he shouts for help and asks what he did wrong. They handcuff him and put him into the police cruiser without allowing him to retrieve a shoe he lost in the struggle.

Police ultimately take the driver out of the patrol car, remove his handcuffs, and issue a ticket.

Investigators identified the driver Tuesday as Marvin Taylor, 22. He was charged with obstruction of governmental administration, failure to give an appropriate turn signal, and operating a motor vehicle without a valid inspection certificate.

“Our Officers are tasked with doing an incredibly dangerous job on a daily basis,” RPD Chief David Smith said in a statement issued with the video Tuesday. “Situations, like these, in which a motorist refuses a reasonable direction to lower the windows creates an unsafe situation for everyone involved. Cooperation from the motorist would easily have prevented this incident from escalating.”

The RPD initiated a departmental review of the incident.

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