Rochester police officer suspended after he’s seen handcuffing EMT worker in emergency room

Francis Akhalbey July 19, 2022
A Rochester police officer was seen handcuffing an EMT worker in a hospital emergency room -- Images via Twitter

A Rochester police officer who was seen handcuffing an EMT worker during a confrontation inside a hospital emergency room has been placed on suspension with pay, the Rochester Police Department announced.

According to News10NBC, the July 11 incident happened at Strong Hospital. The unidentified investigator is said to have confronted the Black EMT worker both inside and outside the facility. The unidentified investigator was initially placed on administrative assignment pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident.

“I have high expectations for all members of the Rochester Police Department.  Obviously, this incident is deeply concerning to me. As a result of this interaction at Strong Hospital, I have directed our Professional Standards Section to initiate an internal investigation,” Rochester Police Chief David Smith initially said in a statement. 

“The member involved has been re-assigned to administrative duties, pending the results of this investigation. As Chief, I demand the members of the Rochester Police Department perform their duties in a professional manner. And as such, we must hold ourselves to a high standard of accountability.”

The investigator confronted the EMT worker after she hit his car while opening an ambulance door to move a patient inside. The investigator, who went to the hospital to work on a case, had parked the police car at the ambulance bay when the incident occurred.

Sources told the news outlet that the investigator asked the EMT worker to produce her identification after she hit the police car. But the woman insisted on taking the patient inside before doing that. The patient was on a stretcher. 

A video of the incident shows the investigator approaching the EMT worker and placing her in handcuffs after she moves the patient to the check-in desk area. In the aftermath of the incident, Rochester Police Department said the investigator had been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation.

The Monroe Ambulance department also commended the EMT worker for insisting on attending to the patient first. The statement read: 

Monroe Ambulance leadership and employees sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support through social media for our highly valued employee that was put in an untenable situation. We steadfastly stand by her prioritization of the care for her patient and are blessed by your willingness to publicly support her patient advocacy.

We would, however, appreciate resisting derogatory comments against RPD as an organization. This incident was perpetrated by a single individual and subject to investigation by his employer, everyone is entitled to due process regardless of opinion. We trust that the matter will be disposed of appropriately and responsibly.

In addition to commendation of our medic for focusing on attending to her patient despite the turmoil, we would also like to publicly acknowledge the Gates Ambulance EMT that stepped up/stepped in to assist her subsequent to detainment of her partner to ensure our patient was treated appropriately and responsibly.

Pending approval by the Gates EMT, we will publicly acknowledge her exemplary behavior in response to a patient and fellow provider in need regardless of the patch on her arm. Thank you both so much for your professionalism in the midst of chaos.

The EMT worker was later released. She was also not charged or ticketed, News10NBC reported.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 19, 2022


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