Police release body camera video of fatal Rochester traffic stop

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Police in upstate New York released body camera footage Saturday in the fatal shooting of a passenger during a traffic stop.

The Rochester Police Department released more than 40 minutes of footage in the Friday morning shooting, where an unidentified man in his 20s was shot and later died following a traffic stop.

Rochester police were responding to reports of shots fired near the 500 block of Lyell Avenue at 4:21 a.m. ET Friday and spotted a vehicle "seen on camera leaving the area where the shots were fired," Capt. Mark Mura previously told reporters.

Officers caught up with that car less than a half-mile away, near Glasser Street, where the deadly confrontation unfolded, authorities said.

The police body camera video shows officers speaking to passengers in the car. Eventually, an officer attempting to speak with someone in the back seat screams that the man has a firearm and for him to drop the gun. The officer takes cover and yells “shots fired” as multiple rounds are heard.

Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan, the city's interim police chief, said at least nine shots were fired.

The officer can be heard in the body camera footage saying one person was hit in the back seat of the car and asking the passenger in the front of the car, who is unarmed, if he was hit. He replies he was not.

The passenger is asked to exit the car with his hands in the air. The officers say the man in the back of the car is still breathing at the time.

Later in the video, police can be heard saying the suspect pulled a gun from his waistband. Police are then seen approaching the car and the wounded man, saying the gun is down by his hand before they retrieve it from the vehicle.

Herriott-Sullivan said it was not clear if the man who was killed fired any shots.

The New York Attorney General’s Office announced Friday that it was opening an investigation into the man’s death. The officers involved in the incident are on administrative leave.

Police in Rochester have been under scrutiny for other deadly uses of force, including the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died days after being held down naked on a city street in the early morning hours of March 23, 2020. The city's police chief at the time, La’Ron Singletary, was ousted after video of the incident was released.

Footage showed Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushed his face against the ground, while another officer pressed a knee to his back. Police said the officers placed the spit hood on Prude because he said he had Covid-19.

The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing, according to the video. He was taken off life support a week later.

Then on March 10 of this year, Rochester police fatally shot Tyshon Jones, a 29-year-old Black man who authorities said was armed with a knife. The man's family said he was having a mental health crisis when he was killed.

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