Rochester, NY Police officers Assault Disabled Man in Motorized Wheelchair

Published On May 8, 2013 | By Davy V. | Articles

By Davy V.

Just when I think the Rochester, NY Police department can’t sink any lower, they manage outdo themselves!

A video recently posted on YouTube shows a very disturbing incident.

Two Rochester, NY Police officers are seen assaulting Benny Warr, a disabled man in a motorized wheelchair, who was waiting for the bus near the intersection of Jefferson Ave. and Bartlett St. on Wednesday May 1st.

Although the video is shot in an upright position, limiting the shot to 1/3, and is not the best quality, it’s clear that Warr did nothing to warrant this use of force.

At one point in the video an RPD officers grab Warr, lifting him off his wheelchair, and throwing him onto the sidewalk.

The woman who recorded the video, Shakur Muhammed, can then be heard saying “Stop, why is you kicking him?”, as a third Rochester Police officer arrives on scene.

At another point in the video, an RPD officer is seen pushing Warr’s wheelchair out of the way, and then placing his body weight on Warr’s arms as he appears to be pushing down on the disabled man.

In another part of the video, Muhammed makes a comment that one of the RPD officers assaulting the disabled man has been harassing neighborhood residents and is mad because he was punched in the face earlier.

This is interesting, as it shows that the RPD officer may be assaulting the disabled man as a way to get his frustrations out over a completely unrelated incident, that has nothing to do with the disabled man.

Towards the end of the 2 minute and 50 second video, RPD officers are seen staring down a group of bystanders which includes Muhammed, the woman recording the video.

An RPD officer is then seen waving his arms, as he tells people “Let’s go, let’s go, come on, go!”, obviously upset that their assault of a disabled man had been recorded on video.

This is typical behavior of the thugs with badges which make up the Rochester, NY Police department.

Warr was taken to the hospital and given an appearance ticket, for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Jefferson Avenue residents say it is not uncommon for Rochester Police officers to assault innocent people.

Ever since Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard announced Operation Cool Down last year, saying that his officers would stop citizens if they don’t have a bell on their bikes, I said that all Sheppard was doing, was giving his already rogue, racist officers, a ‘free pass’ to abuse innocent citizens, just like they did to this disabled man.

Next thing you know, RPD Chief Sheppard will say that Benny Warr’s wheelchair didn’t have a bell on it.

 

CONTACT ROCHESTER, NY POLICE CHIEF JAMES SHEPPARD (585) 428-7033

ROCHESTER, NY MAYOR THOMAS RICHARDS (585) 428-7045

 

 

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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.
  • BackFire

    Another gem article from Davy V. You never cease to amaze us with your sensationalism and fabrications. This may have indeed been a case of police abuse, but your obscure, obtuse, non-factual, opinionated, and hostile way of reporting, is unnecessary. We understand that you are trying to go for the “shock journalism”, but it makes you less credible. It helps if you stick to most of the facts of the matter, without inserting your own narrow-minded opinions. Please let the readers be the judge, instead of using your soapbox to preach your inane logic.

  • wiguy

    Stepping back never seems to be an option with handicapped folks for cops. Rochester cops seem to have two modes:

    1) Beat ass
    2) Beat ass thoroughly

    Keep the sun shining Davy V.

  • Casual Observer

    FOUR WORDS: avoid Rochester, New York.

  • Jeanne Lowery

    I have no idea what this man did. However, he did something to warrant being subdued. I really doubt the police were just rolling down the street looking for wheelchair bound person to assault. Get real. I fail to see the brutality. The man was resistant. One would think that these scroats would learn to not be resistant. It is pointless. Resistance is also indicator that they are guilty of something. We have had police officers shot by people in wheelchairs that had guns under their legs. What is completely obvious in this video is the voice of the agitator in the background. That’s the real problem. It is people like this that create the most problem between citizens and police. If this were true brutality, it would have been on CNN and the officers would have been reprimanded or fired. That’s my take.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ibfreeamerican ibfreeAmerican

    I filmed this because as a witness to this CRIME BY THE SHERIFF’S Department I began to fear for my safety. Good thing. After a few minuets you see an officer appear at the door, he looks at my camera and turns to the other officer. they seem to talk for a moment (devise a plan) and then you see him exit the shed and head right to me, minding my own business, planting carrots in my garden. that is to say “I WAS IN A PLACE i HAD A RIGHT TO BE, DOING A THING I HAD A RIGHT TO DO” when these officers came and ignored ALL of the many NO TRESPASS signs and badgered me with questions, I answered the first 12 or so.

    When they said they were including me in their report about my neighbor possible criminal activity I gave no more personal information. I was worried about my safety the entire time, lets face it, I just saw two sheriffs commit a crime and now they are standing at the edge of my yard, with ASSAULT WEAPONS.

    Video of entire thing , audio amplified 6x (Go to 2:00min for the audio of my interrogation and arrest) = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghoaztIihAs

    Overview of entire area from incident and where the actors were located = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHdE2Mtfz1w

    Zoomed in view of the officers in shed (they were in there about 5 min, two and a half I caught on film) = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIWqWvytsjg

    Transcripts of the event :

    What I witnessed might have been a crime by the Police.
    This video is the original where you can see the officers “BREAKING and ENTERING” an inhabited dwelling. They see my camera, then they arrest me (which constitutes an assault and battery by all legal definitions) Same charge they use on the unsuspecting, uninformed citizenry all the time. Ain’t karma a bitch. I hope for it to come back on you and your family 10 fold.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ2ErpWKEYs
    The first few minuets of the video you hear nothing because they are in the shed, then it becomes audible when they exit and batter me. I had to amplify it 6x to hear it . I now have transcribed the entire dialog and will be posting it to my Facebook for my protection.
    The dialog is as follows:

    Me = Me
    1 = CPL Travis Meir
    2 = officer Brian Alexander
    0:00 Numbers = Time on audio track
    ………………………………………………………………………..
    RADIO
    1 -2:25 What is the extension cord for?
    (question # 1 )

    Me Weed-eater and stuff left out from last weekend.
    (answer to question #1)

    1 Why do you need an extension cord?
    (question #2)

    Me I haven’t gotten moved in here, I just picked this place up about a month ago.
    (answer to Question # 2)

    1 -2:34 inaudible question
    (question #3)

    Me I have a trailer over here. -I point to where I live 3 doors down the road
    (answer to question #3)

    1 – 2:41 So you don’t have any electricity here?
    (question # 4)

    Me No.
    (answer to question # 4)

    (I cant be involved in theft of electricity I don’t have any electrical here at the
    garden)

    inaudible

    (he points to my neighbors power box)

    1 – 2:55 Did you clip this meter?
    (question # 5)

    Me I did not touch that meter.
    (answer to question # 5)
    (again I state that I am not involved with my neighbors affairs)

    inaudible

    (points to neighbors house)

    1 – 3:01 But you are using electricity he stole.
    (question – accusation # 6)

    ME I haven’t even been able to get over here in two days or so.
    (answer – rebuttal to question #6)
    (no clue what my neighbor dose or doesn’t do, I MYOB and I establish my
    whereabouts or lack there of for the last few days)

    1 – 3:03 You got your ID
    (question # 7)

    Me Not upon me sir.
    (answer to question # 6)
    (remember that I am planting carrots in my backyard garden)

    (I point to my neighbors extension cord)

    Me That thing has been plugged in for a couple of weeks.

    1 – That’s fine, can you get your ID.
    (question # 8)

    Me I don’t have it with me sir.
    (answer to question # 8)
    (“sir”, and direct answers to all questions so far, I am being very cooperative
    and civil)

    Me Is it required?
    (my first question)

    1 – 3:23 Where is it at?
    (question #9)

    1 – Yes its required! Its required you have an ID on you when I ask.
    Where is it at?
    (question #9 – again)

    Me But I don’t posses an ID
    (answer to question #9)
    (i did not say I have no means of identifying myself, my truck with plates and
    identifiable information is parked in the driveway)

    1 You don’t have any kind of Identification?
    (question # 10)

    Me Ugh….
    ( attempt to answer question # 9 is interrupted)

    1 Do you know that that is against the law?
    (question # 11)

    Me OK… on my property I have to have an ID?
    (asking for clarification of question # 11)

    1 – 3:34 You have to have an ID, Yes.

    (officer # 2 has come from the shed now and made sure to close up the door
    “as if” they hadn’t broken in.)

    2 – 3:37 We have no way of knowing for sure live here or don’t live here.
    (non question # 12)

    Me I live a couple trailers down

    (I point to my house)
    (second time I have told them I do not live here.)

    Me I just bought this last month and then started on this garden.
    (answer to non question # 12)

    1 – 3:42 HEY! Where’s the ID
    (question # 13)

    Me Probably at my house
    ( I point to my house, again)
    (answer to question # 13)

    ? – 3:46 What is your name and Date of birth?
    (question # 14)

    Me Ugh… My name is Brent
    (answer to Question #14)

    {compliance with 14:108.B.(1)(c)} so far I have answered all questions, and more. told the officers where I live and what my business at this address is and my name. they can reasonably establish that I am not the person they are seeking. Our intercourse should be done.}

    2 – 3:50 Can you spell that for me?
    (question # 15)
    (Officer 2 is taking notes.)

    Me Yes, B – R – E – N – T
    (answer to question # 15)
    (So far cooperative and compliant?)

    Definition of NAME http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/name
    name – noun \ˈnām\ –
    1 a : a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a
    person or thing
    b : a word or symbol used in logic to designate an entity
    (my name is Brent, used to distinguish me from the others in my family)

    2 – 4:01 What is your last name?
    (question # 16)

    Me May I ask what this is about?

    (first question I do not directly answer, after giving my name and residence)

    Me I am curious… interrupted

    Me I am curious… interrupted

    Me I want to know… interrupted

    Me Can you provide me with a phone number of a supervisor whereas I can call
    and confirm this intrusion is WARRANTED?

    (after all, I believe they just committed a crime upon my neighbor and I am the
    only witnesses. Now these two are threatening me, they are armed with
    ASSAULT WEAPONS and I have a valid concern for my safety)

    INAUDIBLE – LOTS OF TALKING OVER MY QUESTION – WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?

    1 Let me explain something to you right now

    Me OK.

    1 – 4:15 You are to identify yourself when ever a police officer asks you your name!

    Me Ugh Huh. OK

    1 – 4:20 This is going to be the last time I’m gonna ask you for your name or
    else you’re gonna be arrested for it!

    Me Well, what would I be arrested for?

    1 I’m doing an investigation here.

    Me and I am minding my own business on my own property.

    2 – 4:25 I, I….. I,

    Me And I just want to be left alone.

    2 LISTEN!

    1 – 4:28 I’m doing an investigation.

    Me OK

    1 – 4:31 This is stealing electricity – points to my neighbors house

    ? – 4:33 Listen, Listen, We asking the questions here

    Me And I am answering them

    2 – 4:36 You are in the area.

    Me I attempt to explain I am and have been compliant thus far, lots of over-talking.

    1 STOP! (command)

    Me OK (compliance)

    1 – 4:40 You have an extension cord running to an address that is stealing electricity.
    ( Points to my neighbors extension cord again accusing me of theft.)

    Me I did not do anything…INAUDIBLE
    I am in a place where I have a RIGHT to be, doing something I have a RIGHT
    to do…

    2 That’s Fine, That’s fine.

    1 – 4:47 But, I need your information BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO BE LISTED IN THE REPORT BECAUSE YOU HAVE ELECTRICITY RUNNING TO YOUR HOUSE.

    ( the officer just, and finally, indicated the purpose of their questioning and
    further indicated that I will be acquiesced into this criminal matter.)

    ( Time to invoke my rights and offer no more personal information without an
    attorney present.)

    2 So, Read him his rights, go ahead and Read him his rights.

    Me If there is a problem, unplug it.

    2 – 4:59 Its already unplugged.
    (I thought I had electricity running to my house, its not even plugged in!!!!!!)

    Me Can I make a phone call to check on the Legitimacy of this?…..
    To check if this is a warranted intrusion….
    Don’t I have a fifth amendment right?…..

    2 – 5:01 NO! Not BEFORE you give us the information.

    ? – 5:04 You know what forget it.

    ? No you don’t have a fifth amendment right, We are not playing those GAMES.

    Me What, I am being arrested?

    ? Yes.

    Me For what?

    1 – 5:14 Because you are being uncooperative and impeding an investigation.

    ( That is what I was told I was being arrested for by the arresting officers.
    Yet I was charged with:

    14:108.B.(1)(c)
    Refusal by the arrested or detained party to give his name and make his identity
    known to the arresting officer or detaining officer or providing false information
    regarding the identity of such party to the officers.
    http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=78264

    RS 14 §3. Interpretation.
    The articles of this Code cannot be extended by analogy so as to create crimes
    not provided for herein; however, in order to promote justice and to effect the
    objects of the law, all of its provisions shall be given a genuine construction,
    according to the fair import of their words, taken in their usual sense, in
    connection with the context, and with reference to the purpose of the provision.
    http://legis.la.gov/lss/lss.asp?doc=78396

    also see: RS 14:2 B.
    In this Code, “crime of violence” means an offense that has, as an element, the
    use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or
    property of another, and that, by its very nature, involves a substantial risk that
    physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the
    course of committing the offense or an offense that involves the possession or
    use of a dangerous weapon. The following enumerated offenses and attempts to
    commit any of them are included as “crimes of violence”
    http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=78337

    Me You guys are NOW trespassing.
    (they came over my fences and barriers between my and my neighbors yard,
    where they had been standing, and trespassed onto my property and started
    what is by all legal definitions ASSAULT AND BATTERY. )

    1&2 No we are not trespassing.

    1 No were not.

    Me So I don’t have a 5th amendment right not to say a single word?

    1 – 5:31 You have a right to give me your ID !

    Me So I don’t have a 5th amendment right not to say a single word?

    ? inaudible – officer

    Me I am not involved with this.
    I have nothing to do with this.
    I do not wish to be involved with this.

    ? – 5:38 I don’t care if you aren’t in involved with this.

    ? – 5:41 You are required…..

    ? I asked you for your ID
    (if he had asked me to turn pink I might have tried, but the impossibility of
    presenting an ID I do not posses how can I comply? even attempted to comply
    but was restrained by these thugs)

    ? Read him his rights.

    1 You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against
    you in a court of law.

    Me I…

    2 – 6:11 HEY!

    1 you have the right to contact an attorney and have him present whenever
    questioned.

    Me Well can I call my attorney then… inaudible… But you guys wont let me
    (Guys with Assault Weapons , tasers, clubs, cuffs)

    ? – 6:03 Listen, Listen, I’m tying to explain your rights to you.

    Me And I am trying to exercise them…….

    1 – 6:09 OK

    Me That’s All.

    2 – 6:11 HEY!

    Me is this being recorded, please.

    2 – 6:14 Yes.

    1 – 6:17 If you cant afford an attorney one will be appointed to you.

    1 – 6:26 If you decide at any time to exercise these right by making any
    statements…… inaudible

    ? Alright
    (They place the cuffs on me and physically take possession of my body)

    ? – 6:39 Do you have any weapons?

    Me I don’t own any weapons.
    (They start patting me down)

    I might have a small knife in there for gardening. Maybe a little one.

    1 – 6:47 Do you mind if I take this out of your pocket?

    Me No. Go ahead.
    (if they just committed a crime -breaking and entering- and unwarranted search,
    I don’t want them saying that I pulled a knife on them before they shot me.)

    (They remove my pack of cigarettes and knife from my pocket.)

    Me Just set it on the BBQ-er

    (Officer 1 Opens up my pack of cigarettes)

    Me I did not consent for you to search my stuff.
    Just to take them from my pocket.
    Just set it on the BBQ.

    1 – 7:08 Ive got to search it.

    Me Just set it down. Set it down.

    1 You have a knife.

    Me Just set it down.

    1- 7:10 Listen to me!

    Me I’m in my garden minding my own business… inaudible
    This is a false arrest.
    ( I call this out for anybody else to hear, I am still fearing for my safety)

    ?- 7:14 This is not a false arrest.

    Me This is, by law, an assault.

    ? This is not an assault.

    Me You have just assaulted and battered me on my own property…. Inaudible…

    Me This is the same assault and battery you use upon unsuspecting citizens
    every day when you charge them…

    ?- 7:20 Come on.
    (as he brutally yanks me by the cuffs and arm)

    ( I turn my head to ask him)

    Me This is not an Assault?

    (and my shoulders turn slightly with my head)

    1 DON’T PULL AWAY FORM ME MAN.
    (A THREAT TO USE EVEN MORE FORCE)

    Me This is not an assault upon me? By legal definition, you took me against my
    will from where I was when you yanked me from my Garden……
    inaudible…
    Me a place I had a right to be, doing a thing I had a right to do…..

    7:45 Stuffed into car
    – A few moments go by
    – Officers were asked to retrieve my phone, monies (cash), and keys from the
    table I was sitting at.

    inaudible…

    ? So what dd we arrest him for?

    ? – 8:45 inaudible… something about not having an ID…

    ? Like no drivers license?

    Radio -Radio – Radio

    1 – 8:54 That’s what you are going to jail for.

    The police investigating “theft of Utility” at my neighbors house. They bang on all of their doors but don’t enter. then they bang on his utility shed in the back yard. no problem. THEN they enter his shed and snoop through all his belongings. They might have been duly authorized to knock, even peek inside to see if my neighbor was there, but there is no way they had the authority to rummage through his belongings without warrant.

    I filmed this because as a witness to this CRIME BY THE SHERIFF’S Department I began to fear for my safety. Good thing. After a few minuets you see an officer appear at the door, he looks at my camera and turns to the other officer. the talk for a moment(devise a plan) and then you see him exit the shed and head right to me, minding my own business, planting carrots in my garden. that is to say “I WAS IN A PLACE i HAD A RIGHT TO BE, DOING A THING I HAD A RIGHT TO DO” when these officers came and ignored ALL of the many NO TRESPASS signs and badgered me with questions, I answered the first 12 or so.

    When they said they were including me in their report about my neighbor possible criminal activity I gave no more personal information. I was worried about my safety the entire time, lets face it, I just saw two sheriffs commit a crime and now they are standing at the edge of my yard, with ASSAULT WEAPONS.

    I told them my name when asked, even spelled it out for them and that I lived a few doors down and stated my business at this second dwelling I had just purchased 6 weeks earlier. As a means of intimidation they then proceeded to arrest me for failing to identify myself.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ibfreeamerican ibfreeAmerican

    Another un-
    warranted illegal search. this one caught on film and and I the citizen journalist arrested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIWqWvytsjg

  • t.

    ubfree: U are free. For only in America you someone be free to be such a colossal idiot.

  • Common Sense

    Sorry Davy V, no one cares anymore. You’ve cried wolf once to often.

  • http://yahoo Alvin

    LOL, 3 patrol cars, and at least 6 police employees, all for a guy in a wheelchair. Tell me, were that many badge-wearers needed for the “criminal” or where they there to protect the 2 union thugs that started the whole civil disturbance in the first place. When the SHTF, the police had better learn better tactics, as this is a perfect example of how many of them will get themselves killed. I’m giving you badge-wearers some free advice. Stop being so tunnel-visioned while doing your jobs. In this instance, two union thugs are more than enough for the collar. the other 4 should have been providing perimeter security.

  • https://www.facebook.com/585ROC Justin

    Ok, so the guy in the wheelchair was harrassing the block because he was mad he got punched in the face? Or the cop? That point is not clear, I am sure if it would have been the cop the woman would have said the cop was mad, not just “he”, cant see much of whats going on since the officer is standing there and obstructing the view, And how exactly were they kicking this guy? Both officers had atleast one knee on the ground, try to kick someone like that, I dare ya lol. Also, I saw no mace being sprayed, I know first hand that you can see a orange cloud of spray when it is used. This video shows nothing but an arrest. Davy, since you want to claim I stalk you, get used to seeing me over there by the school, now I know where to find you, lets see how you like being followed around and video taped, bet you wont talk to me on my camera will ya???

  • Pingback: More unprovoked police brutality | Still Bleeding Heart

  • Davy V.
  • cookie

    We don’t get to see what led up to this. Probably quite a different story.

  • North Philly

    “OMG!!, yo real talk, They macing him!”

    Whats so shocking? You animals do violent crimes to each other everyday but when police officers fight with anyone, it’s so wrong. Fucking hypercritical.

    “yo scrap, i’m about to bounce” -Great narration

  • Justin

    From the way the woman is talking, it sounds more like she is saying the man in the chair is mad because he was punched in the face. Not the officer.

    This is just another example of Davy’s way of exposing himself as a hack.
    No research, and no proof. The video does not show why the police were called,
    It also does not show any kind of assault.
    The woman says he is being kicked, show me where. She says he has been maced, show me when.

  • cops

    he got what he deserve fucken asshole next time listen and follow directions.ok all you savage beast better know that we rules over all you people and we can do what ever the fuck we want to you and there nothing you can do about it.

  • mleuci003

    i love how she even says “hes just mad because he got punched in the face”. He assaulted a police officer what did you expect. Why do you fail to mention that in this article. You only stir up controversy.