Off Duty Rochester, NY Police officer Francisco Santiago Shoots Two Unarmed African-American Men Multiple Times after Fender Bender

Published On August 11, 2012 | By Davy V. | Articles
By Davy V.

When is it ok to shoot two unarmed occupants of a vehicle who just got into a fender bender with you?

Injuring those two unarmed people with multiple bullet wounds to their torsos and lower extremities?

When you’re an off-duty Rochester, NY Police officer.

Here’s what happened.

On Friday August 10, 2012 around 11:30 pm, Rochester, NY Police officer Francisco Santiago, a 6 year veteran, had just finished his shift with the RPD’s eastside platoon, when he was heading home.

According to Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard, who held a news conference Saturday morning at the Public Safety building, officer Santiago was rear ended by another vehicle on Joseph Avenue.

Chief Sheppard said officer Santiago then “had a conversation” with the occupants of the car that rear ended him, “expressing” to them that he would like to contact Rochester Police so they could come and take an accident report.

At that point, according to Sheppard, the driver of the car failed to comply with officer Santiago’s request and drove away, before stopping their vehicle a short distance ahead, on Pardee St., at which point RPD officer Santiago once again “had a conversation” with the men, saying that he wanted police to respond and take a report.

Once again, Chief Sheppard said, they drove off.

Rochester, NY police Chief James Sheppard said officer Santiago, who again was off duty, followed the car as they circled the block and ended up back on Pardee St.

It was then, according to Sheppard, that officer Santiago called 911.

At the news conference, Sheppard told Rochester media that while officer Santiago was on the phone with 911, the two men he had been following, approached his car.

“The occupants of the vehicle exited and at that point he (Santiago) was assaulted. During the course of that assault he (Santiago) defended himself by firing his personally owned firearm multiple times,” Chief Sheppard said.

“The suspects fled the area. Other responding officers were able to contact and apprehend the individuals on Farbridge St. My understanding is as a result of the multiple shots that were fired, one individual had upper torso wounds and lower extremity wounds, and one had a an upper torso wound that we understand are not life threatening”, the Chief added.

The two men, both in their early 20’s, and both African-American, have not been charged yet, but Chief Sheppard said, “We anticipate that they will be charged with the assault and as I said the investigation does continue, and there may be additional charges that may come from our investigation.”

Chief Sheppard said that the Rochester, NY Police department is working with the Monroe County District Attorney’s office at this point in time, and that his department is conducting an internal investigation, as well as a criminal investigation that will be presented to a Grand Jury.

However, Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard called the shooting “justified”, and said that officer Francisco Santiago was “defending himself.”

When asked if it is usual for officers to carry a secondary weapon, besides the department issued weapon, the Chief answered, “Oh yes, most definitely. A lot of officers depend just on the RPD issued weapon but several officers have multiple weapons that they chose to have, based on the fact that they can have them.”

Ok.

That was Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard’s PR spin on the incident.

I don’t believe any of it.

Here’s why.

First of all, there are so many things that just don’t seem right here.

Off duty Rochester, NY Police officer Francisco Santiago is rear ended by another vehicle, and, despite his law enforcement training and his 6 years of experience as a police officer, doesn’t call 911.

Instead, officer Santiago gets out of his vehicle and attempts to have a “conversation” with the occupants of the vehicle that just rear ended him.

Officer Santiago then “expresses” to the occupants of the vehicle, his desire to want to call 911.

But doesn’t call 911.

Then at that point, the driver of the vehicle that just rear ended him drives off.

Officer Santiago still doesn’t call 911.

Then, after the vehicle stops a few blocks up the street, officer Santiago still does not call 911.

Officer Santiago instead chooses to have yet another “conversation” with the occupants of the vehicle which not only rear ended him, but drove off just minutes earlier.

And by the way, what’s up with all these “conversations” where RPD officer Santiago, according to Chief Sheppard, “expresses” to the occupants of the vehicle that just rear ended him, that he (Santiago) would like to call the Rochester Police department to come take a report on the accident?

Why didn’t officer Santiago just call 911 then?

Was he asking for the individual’s permission to call 911?

I mean Rochester, NY Police officer Francisco Santiago, again, a 6 year veteran police officer, had several opportunities to call 911, and didn’t.

Then, after the vehicle once again, for the second time, drives off, officer Santiago still does not call 911.

Instead he follows the vehicle around the block.

Then finally, officer Santiago calls 911.

Then, according to Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard, as officer Santiago is on the phone with 911, (who he should have called immediately after he was rear ended) the occupants of the vehicle exit the car and walk up to officer Santiago and assault him?

Off duty Rochester, NY Police officer Francisco Santiago then pulls out his personal firearm and shoots two unarmed African-American men several times.

Does Chief Sheppard think the community is stupid?

I don’t believe this “spin” that Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard is putting on this.

There’s alot more to this incident which Chief James Sheppard and his department are not saying.

Frankly, I find the whole thing very disturbing.
An off duty cop, in the inner city, who refuses to call 911 and instead follows and stalks down two unarmed Black men.
Then uses his personal firearm to shoot them multiple times?
Reminds me of a young man named Trayvon Martin.

Like this Article? Share it!

About The Author

Davy V. is a Cuban-American Filmmaker, Video Producer, Photographer and Freelance Writer, best known for using the power of video and film to expose Police Brutality, Corruption and Misconduct. The son of the late Mario Vara, a community activist who for years fought against Police Brutality and Misconduct in Rochester, New York, Davy V. got his start in Television and Video by tagging along and working camera for his father's cable access television show, "La Voz Del Pueblo" (The Voice of The People). Davy V. later went on to produce and host "KEEP IT ON THE REEL", a cable access TV show with a mix of Hip Hop as well as issues affecting African-Americans and Latinos in Rochester, NY, such as Police Brutality and Misconduct. Some guests on the show included Treach, KayGee and Vinnie of Naughty by Nature, Method Man, Funkdoobiest, Da Youngstas, and the Rottin' Razkals. Davy V. won the U.S. ACM Video Festival Award for his Documentary, "R.P.D. EXPOSED!" about the Rochester, New York Police Department and their long history of misconduct, corruption and unnecessary killings of unarmed innocent citizens. "R.P.D. EXPOSED!" and Davy V.'s follow up, "R.P.D.: Badges of DISHONOR, CORRUPTION and MURDER!" were both screened at the National Hip Hop Political Convention at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Davy V.'s work has been featured in publications such as THE SOURCE Hip Hop Magazine, URBAN AMERICA Magazine, The Ave. Magazine, Insider Magazine, La Voz Newspaper, Minority Reporter Newspaper, CNY LATINO Newspaper, DOWN Magazine, as well as on television news stations, and programs such as CNN and Inside Edition. In addition to his freelance writing, Davy V. also writes a monthly Op/Ed Column for LA VOZ Magazine and Minority Reporter Newspaper. In June 2012, Davy V. joined Cop Block as a regular contributor.
  • Sean

    I bet he requested money, told them he was a cop, and if they didn’t give him cash, he would get his friends to make the report look like it was their fault…

  • http://buelahman.wordpress.com/ BuelahMan

    Besides the rambling and repeated post, your last sentence shows what a meathead you are.

    How the hell does this remind you of Trayvon?

    Trayvon attacked a dude and got shot. So, your point is…?

  • shawn

    Actually, this does remind me of the Trayvon case.

    Sorry copblock, but just like trayvon, they came looking for a fight. It was perfectly legal for him to follow them, and they broke the law by leaving the scene of an accident.
    They attacked him, justifying his use of force. And yes, the use of lethal force was justified. I for one, when attacked, would not give them a fair fight. It isn’t a game. They meant to hurt him.

    But I do wonder if the cops would give me the same consideration.

  • KAZ

    Best case scenario the cop should have taken down the license plate number as they fled the scene instead of following and escalating the situation. Obviously the men didn’t have respect for the law if they fled. Had the officer done this no one would have been shot and the insurance would have covered the cost of the vehicle repairs. The I have a gun and a badge mentality caused more harm than good in this situation.

    This story unfortunately has no video evidence to back up any claims. The only thing I find weird is there is no statement saying the black men had any warrants, or reason to flee the scene. I encourage DAVY V. to do a little more research and let us all know if the officer in this case has a history of complaints or violence. That would help prove your point of view. Otherwise I do feel that the use of force was necessary if the two men were attempting to assault the officer. I would have used my gun if two guys attempted to beat the shit out of me. I don’t think I would have shot multiple times though.

  • Pingback: Off Duty Rochester, NY Police officer Francisco Santiago Shoots Two Unarmed African-American Men Multiple Times after Fender Bender | OccuWorld

  • Common Sense

    Had you taken out the words “cop” or “Rochester PD” – you would all exclaim the value of a citizen’s right to self defense from not one, but two aggressors after they fled an accident.

    Another good job by RPD.

  • http://yahoo larry

    I’ll bet that if I was in the cops position and shot these guys I would be brought up on atempted merder charges. COP WITH BADGES!

  • shawn

    @Common

    Um, Moron. Most of us are doing exactly that. Some have questioned the off duty officer’s choice to follow, and I’ve questioned whether the cops would be as understanding if it were me, but I still say good shoot. The threat was clear, not some vague “he reached for his waist band”, and the officer didn’t start the physical confrontation. Anyone should have been free to pull the trigger in that instance.

  • certain

    Depends on where they were shot. Using somewhat vague terms such as “extremities” and “upper torso” leads me to believe the shots were all fired from the rear. In which case the cop would be a pile of lying shit. But until that info is made public, there is no way to know if it was justified or not.

    Remember – Don’t feed the trolls.

  • Anti Cop

    @ Common Sense: August 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

    What else is new. Once again ol’ CS shows his true colors with..

    “Cops Can Do NO Wrong!”

    Anti Cop

  • Rick Shey

    Something is fishy with this, it reeks of the police protecting their own and leaving out facts. Sounds like the cop was not following proper procedure following an accident, or following common sense. There’s not enough facts here to do much but guess, but it’s obvious that there’s a lot more to it.

    As far as bringing up Trayvon Martin, or using any type of comparison? That’s just plain stupid. It’s like playing the race card wherever you you think you can gain some support whether it’s true or not.

    There’s always 3 sides to the story, with one of them being the truth. The truth is usually far from being part of the other 2 sides from what I’ve learned, and the police will bend it to their advantage whenever possible to save their hides.

  • fedup

    fuck that pig

  • Amigajoe

    The thing the cop-backers are doing is emblematic of this whole issue: they take the ‘official’ word as gospel; the Chief says the officer says he was assaulted, therefore he was assaulted. They never even consider the possibility that hew wasn’t being honest, and base all their opinions on that. If the tables were turned, they might allow that the citizen CLAIMED that the officer ‘assaulted’ them, but it’s only a claim until more facts come in. 10 witnesses saw it happen? Well, you know people in ‘that’ kind of area can’t be trusted to tell the truth when cops are involved, they probably have a grudge againg The Man, etc. A million ways to cast doubt on citizens, but if a cop says it, it’s obviously the truth, despite overwhelming evidence that cops do in fact lie as well.

  • FRIENDS WITH GATES POLICE

    Sorry this was justified shooting.and im also going to comment on davy vara also.I notice davy vara never gets the facts correct.all his posted have been out right lies and deception of the truth.if you ever notice the travon case the man was armed with a weapon they showed us the video of where he went after the cops telling the cops to leve and thats why he was shot and killed.another story the shooting of a pit bull in gates .that was another lie made by davy vara.see all these lies he starting a war with police as along as your not violent toward police thats fine.but listening to this retard will get you in hot water.

  • jason

    This story just goes to show the lack of training on the part of this off-duty officer. Extremity hits? Marksmanship is and always has been of the utmost importance in the field of law enforcement. There is absolutely no reason why ALL of those hits should not have been center mass. Sounds like somebody needs a little more range time. I realize that adrenal was probably a factor, but if he had concentrated on the basics of trigger squeeze, sight alignment and tactical breathing coupled with a rock solid Isoseles stance…

  • Common Sense

    @Jason

    All good points, and yes, stress will varying the level of accuracy. But I would to remind you of the benefits of the Weaver stance, rock sold, able to adapt in an stance, and reliable.

    I do agree, dare say RPD needs to put a few more rounds down range.

  • Comic Sense

    Well I, daresay, disagree that the RPD should work on their aim. These guys are professionals, mind you. I’m sure their aim would be just fine after they knock a little common sense into the biased anti-LEO hippie drum circle druggies that criticize their capabilities.

  • Leonard

    these people can who and when ever they please, this is a good ole boys club that we have to pay for with our taxes. POLICE STATE

  • shawn

    “Well I, daresay, disagree that the RPD should work on their aim.”

    I think you need to remember that any round that misses the target becomes a danger to innocent bystanders. With that basic truth, they have a responsibility to do anything they can to make sure their rounds are on target.
    Or do you particularly like the idea of baby cribs backstopping police fire?

  • http://copblock.org Samuel Rose

    If all these morons would stop and think for a moment, the off duty officer at the end of the police chief’s statement had to be sitting inside his car after following these guys so why didn’t he lock his doors and shut his windows while calling 911 or simply identify himself as police. None of this would have happened if he did either. And why haven’t the boys been charged with leaving the scene of an accident if thats what they really did. What do they have to say.

  • Armed

    Looks like a cop was killed in texas. awwwwwwwwww! So sad.

    This kind of news gets me hard. Titanium HARD !

  • jason

    Dear Shawn of the Dead, baby cribs actually make very poor backstops. Stacks of High Times magazines and empty guitar cases would be a much wiser choice for a hippy to barricade himself with. You should know this. Didn’t you learn anything at The Woodstock Academy of Hippidom? Rookie…..

  • Pingback: Off Duty Rochester, NY Police officer Francisco Santiago Shoots Two Unarmed African-American Men Multiple Times after Fender Bender |

  • Me

    The only thing the cop did wrong was a gun that was to small he should have used a .45. How’s you dad vara

  • Ariel

    Yeah, this is a really fishy story. Stinks like 30 day old fish. “Hit and run” leaves after conversation, stops close by, leaves after another conversation but goes back to roughly the same spot. Citizen (special citizen) finally calls 911 but is assaulted while in car after they broke windows and attempted to pull him out (I added that part to make it sound better). Shoots to protect himself.

    Yeah, I could pull this off, maybe, with a damn good criminal defense lawyer. Better yet, a Police Chief, who is frankly a lot cheaper. Do they hire by the hour?

  • Lurker

    Your version doesn’t have the part where the officer was hit over the head with a bear bottle, suffering a serious eye injury or being hospitalized.

    If the victim was not an officer, you guys would be jumping for joy that a citizen defended themselves. But since its a LEO, you are singing a different tune.

  • M. Miller

    I’m with you. The cop’s story stinks to high Heaven.”. . .“expressing” to them that he would like to contact Rochester Police so they could come and take an accident report.” You don’t ASK to contact the police, you just DO IT.” It’s far more likely that Officer Santiago, after a long day at work, had, not a conversation, but a Road Rage fit on these kids, scaring that ever lovin’ piss out of them. It also doesn’t make sense that these two individuals would ‘flee the scene of an accident’ by driving a short distance away then stopping then driving around the block and coming back to the scene. Officer Santiago’s description makes no sense at all.

  • rayzav

    on the flip side if he didn’t have his gun he would of just been another homocide victim. That would of been much better right?. Forget the fact that he was on his way home on a Friday night, i mean who wants to go home and be with the family when you can spend the night in the Hospital? So what if people have the right to defend themselves when your life is in danger. He was in his car calling 911 when he was assaulted by two thugs with long criminal record. one who had a warrant for his arrest.. I could go on about this but this is a one sided web site with a bunch of cop haters. The city of Rochester is a cestpool if viscious crimes and it needs to be cleaned up.

  • Pingback: Can I Bring My Gat « The Industry Cosign

  • invisible person12

    Why in the world would anyone in their right mind pursue uncooperative individuals who should have known what the protocol is when you rear-end someone. Obviously, the officer opened the way for an ensuement of violence instead of getting their license plates and pursuing it that way. He invited trouble..that is what he did…didn’t he know or figure that out from the get-go? Both parties got hurt for his reckless lack of insightfulness…he is well trained in such scenarios and should have known better. The only excuse he truly has in no excuse at all.