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RPD officials to review use of force used in weapons arrest of Roy Siplin


The Rochester Police Department has released body-worn camera video of the recent arrest of a 21-year-old man and said its Professional Standards Section will conduct an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Police released more information about the Oct. 9 arrest of Roy Siplin Sunday after questions about his being taken into custody were raised earlier in the day by his father. Roy Siplin Sr. said he had learned his son was punched multiple times by police when he was arrested.
Siplin Sr. told reporters early on Sunday that he wanted to talk to his son and find out more about his condition but was not able to get information. Siplin Sr. also said he had heard his son had a collapsed lung.

According to information released by RPD on Sunday night, Siplin was among three men arrested on criminal weapon possession charges after police investigated shots being fired on Pennsylvania Avenue near Fourth street Friday afternoon. Police said they tried to stop a car officers believed to be involved in the shooting, but the driver refused to pull over and eventually struck a utility pole. Officers said all three people in the car ran away but were later taken into custody.

Police said officers saw that Siplin had a gun, and that they yelled at Siplin to stop, but that he kept running. When police did catch up with him, police said he resisted arrest. Officials acknowledged that police struck Siplin in the face twice to get control of him and they say another officer took a gun from Siplin’s waistband.

Siplin could be heard on the video released by RPD saying that he couldn’t breathe. Officers said that because he complained of breathing problems and had a cut on his hand, Siplin was taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment. Police said Sunday night that Siplin was in the hospital for injuries believed to be related to the crash of the car.

His father told reporters Sunday that he just wanted some answers, and said he wasn’t able to sleep since learning of the incident.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY.