Edison Tech student athlete files civil rights lawsuit against police
On December 23, 2014, a press conference was held where it was announced that Crystal Chapman, on behalf of her son Raliek Redd, filed a civil rights lawsuit in state court charging that the City of Rochester and several named officers including the name of the arresting officer, Eliud Rodriguez, violated Mr. Redd's constitutional and civil rights. Ms. Chapman and her son are represented by Elliot Dolby-Shields.
Mr. Redd and two other Edison Tech student athletes--Wan'Tauhjs Weathers and Daequon Carelock--were arrested on November 27, 2013, (the day before Thanksgiving) around 9:00am, while they were waiting for a bus to take them to a basketball scrimmage at Aquinas high school. The charges were dismissed on December 3, 2013.
While arresting three high school basketball players for no reason is infuriating, what happened next is outrageous. The complaint explains that the three teenagers were taken downtown against their will, had their handcuffs removed, were placed in a room together with several other officers, and subjected to an "unconstitutional
Mr. Redd, Mr. Weathers, and Mr. Carelock--15 and 16 years old respectively--were "forced to take off their clothes and shake each piece of clothing out." The complaint points out that this degrading and embarrassing encounter with law enforcement was in clear violation of the teenagers' constitutional rights and that the officers had no legal basis upon which to conduct such an invasive search.
After the teenagers were strip searched, they were ordered to put their clothing back on and sit on a bench in the police station for approximately four hours. The bench was not located in a holding cell or the Monroe County Jail, but in plain view of the officers named in the complaint, as well as other and "numerous Rochester Police Department officers, sergeants, detectives, and civilians visiting the police station."
One of the unnamed, defendant officers listed in the complaint approached the teenagers and asked what they had been arrested for. The student athletes explained that they had no idea as to why they were arrested as the only thing they were doing was waiting for a bus to pick them up to take them to a basketball game.
This same officer then asked who arrested them. They gave a description matching officer Rodriguez's physical description. The officer, according to the complaint, said that many police officers, detectives, and sergeants know officer Rodriguez by the nickname "Officer Asshole."
Mr. Redd was eventually allowed to call his mother who came to the station. Crystal Chapman, Mr. Redd's mother, arrived and was told that bond would be $200. When she asked why her son had been arrested, the complaint states that the officers had conflicting and apparently fabricated reasons for the arrest.
After she posted bond, she was told that her son would be immediately released. The complaint states that she posted bond around 12:14pm and yet, her son was not released for another two hours. Around 2:00pm, Mr. Redd was released after being humiliated and degraded by the Rochester Police Department and held for nearly five and a half hours.
The Democrat & Chronicle reported on an email sent to them regarding the incident from December 4, 2013: "...the teens were arrested about 9 a.m. Nov. 27 when an officer assigned to a post at North Clinton Avenue and East Main Street saw 'a group of individuals congregating on the sidewalk in front of a store on East Main Street, obstructing pedestrian traffic, and the entrance to the store.' The teens didn't follow an order to disperse, the news release said, and were arrested for disorderly conduct."
In the same article, then-Chief of Police James Sheppard told the newspaper that "...he respects [Monroe County District Attorney Sandra] Doorley's decision but believes the arrest was justified. He suggested that there might be more to the event than has come to light."
Apparently, falsely arresting minors, strip searching them, making them sit on a bench in public view, and holding them for five and a half hours is justified in the former-chief's opinion. Are you sure you want this guy representing you as he runs for Monroe County Legislature?
District Attorney Doorley refused to prosecute the teens and dismissed the charges "in the interests of justice."
No court dates have been set regarding the lawsuit against the police and the city. When one becomes available, we will report it.
Enough is enough.
Related Information: Mr. Red's Civil Rights Complaint against RPD | Appendix to Mr. Redd's civil rights complaint against the RPD | Rally Denounces RPD Murder of Israel "Izzy" Andino! | Police reform group makes policy recs to city for body cameras | Exonerating police misconduct: no accountability in Benny Warr case | What rights? Police brutality in Rochester--a panel | Macnore “Damico” Cameron on the phone about his arrest in Ferguson, MO | Black Rose Anarchist Federation Statement and Video on #BlackLivesMatter Movement | URMC medical students participate in national action: #WhiteCoats4BlackLives | A walkthrough of Vonderrit Myers' killing | "The Whole Damn System is Guilty!" From Rochester to Ferguson -- a community report back | No Justice, No Peace--a response to the non-indictment of Darren Wilson | Black Lives Matter March & Rally @ UR: a response to the Ferguson grand jury decision | Ferguson Response Press Conference hosted by UCLM & CPR | Spontaneous protest in response to Wilson non-indictment