ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Police released new information Wednesday, including body camera footage, of the deadly Christmas Eve shooting by an RPD officer.
The incident happened on Sunday, December 24, at around 8:30 a.m. on the 400 block of Murray Street. Police were called to the scene for reports of a man with a gun. They played the 911 call at a news conference Wednesday before releasing the body worn camera footage.
The video below contains the initial interaction with police leading up to the shooting.
Police located two men walking, when one of them began to run. The video shows the officer shouting to the suspect to drop the gun before firing several shots. The suspect, identified Wednesday as 46-year-old Rochester resident Todd Novick, was pronounced dead at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Police said Wednesday the gun turned out to be a replica gun. Chief Smith would not speculate on why Novick was carrying the replica nor why he took it out when he ran.
WATCH: RPD edited and highlighted body cam footage
Chief David Smith said initial reviews of the body worn camera footage would seem to indicate the officer was in compliance with departmental policy and state law, but the investigation is still in its early stages.
As per policy, the officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation. The officer’s name is not being released, but Chief Smith said he has more than 11 years of experience.
Per state law, all such cases are reviewed by the NYS Attorney General’s Office.
Rochester’s Police Accountability Board announced this week it would be reviewing the incident as well.
The full video provided by Rochester Police can be viewed here.
Mayor Malik Evans released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
The officer-involved shooting on Christmas Eve was a tragedy for our city. One person lost his life and other lives were changed forever.
My condolences are with the family of the person who was killed, and I am thankful that there were no other injuries. I am grateful to the men and women in law enforcement for their efforts to keep our community safe.
The City of Rochester is actively cooperating with the investigation being conducted by the New York State Attorney General’s Office and is also conducting our own internal investigation.
RPD Chief Smith takes questions after releasing body cam video
Activist group Free the People Roc issued a lengthy statement calling for policy changes reading in part:
The decision of the officer to shoot a man multiple times while he was
fleeing is one that can never be justified. The failure of the officer
to de-escalate, ask questions, or attempt to use non-lethal force is
shocking. Possessing a toy gun, or fleeing from an officer should not be
a death sentence.
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