News & Opinion » News

Pathways to Peace head Anthony Hall sues city alleging false arrest

By

Anthony Hall, the leader of the city of Rochester’s anti-violence organization Pathways to Peace and manager of violence prevention, has filed a lawsuit against the city alleging that he was falsely arrested and assaulted by a Rochester police officer during an incident this year.

In the early morning of June 18, Hall was inside the S&T Lounge on North Street. Outside, police were investigating a shooting. According to Hall’s complaint, he exited the bar and approached Investigator Trevor Powell. After a brief conversation he turned to return to the bar, but was stopped by Officer Adam Gorman, the complaint reads.

The complaint claims Gorman asked Hall why he was speaking with Powell inside the perimeter of a crime scene.

“Suddenly, without warning or justification, Gorman seized Mr. Hall, slammed his body against the side of a police car, threw the food he was holding onto the ground, and placed handcuffs upon his wrists in an unreasonably tight manner,” the complaint reads.

The complaint also claims Gorman placed Hall in the back of his police cruiser and told him he was being arrested for being disrespectful towards him, asking him if he was “raised to obey the police.”
Anthony Hall, the leader of the city's Pathways to Peace anti-violence initiative, was a critical figure in the social justice protests of 2020 and 2021. - PHOTO BY GINO FANELLI
  • PHOTO BY GINO FANELLI
  • Anthony Hall, the leader of the city's Pathways to Peace anti-violence initiative, was a critical figure in the social justice protests of 2020 and 2021.

Hall was charged with second-degree obstruction of governmental administration, a misdemeanor. The charges were later dropped.

Hall is seeking punitive damages and wants a court to order the Rochester Police Department to reform how it investigates use of force complaints, and to hire a monitor to oversee those changes.



A spokesperson for the city of Rochester said the city had not yet been served with a lawsuit. When served, they said, the matter will be litigated in court

Gorman, 27, has been on the Rochester police force for six years and has no sustained cases of misconduct, according to an RPD database of sustained disciplinary cases. The lawsuit claims, however, he has a documented history of using force, pointing specifically to performance reviews and mandated training Gorman had to undergo.

“Officer Gorman has been involved in many uses of force,” Sgt. Agustin Gonzalez stated in a 2019 performance review, quoted in the lawsuit. “Even though all of his uses of force have been justified, I would like him to learn to have more patience in dealing with difficult subjects.”

Hall is represented by Elliot Shields, the attorney who is also litigating a case against the city of Rochester over the police department’s response to social justice protests in 2020 and 2021. Hall is one of the many plaintiffs suing the city in that case.

Hall sued the city in 2021 claiming an RPD officer falsely arrested him and two others as the result of a 2018 incident. Shields also represented Hall in that case.

That case was settled for $175,000.

Gino Fanelli is a CITY staff writer. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or gino@rochester-citynews.com.

Tags