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Rochester police officer guilty of assaulting suspect

May 28, 2019

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A police officer has been found guilty of assault for using excessive force during an arrest in western New York.

A Rochester city court judge ruled Tuesday that Rochester Police Officer Michael Sippel is guilty of misdemeanor assault for his treatment of 37-year-old Christopher Pate during an arrest last May.

Pate claimed Sippel and his partner ripped off his bookbag, shocked him and punched him in the face after stopping him because he matched the description of a burglary suspect.

Prosecutors say the confrontation became criminal when Sippel assaulted Pate while he was restrained. The defense argued force was justified because Pate resisted attempts to question him. A grand jury declined to indict Sippel’s partner.

Sippel will be sentenced on July 25.

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