Court plays body camera footage showing attack of Christopher Pate

Video starts around 2:30 or skip to the second video

The trial of a Rochester police officer accused of using excessive force to arrest a man in May 2018 began Wednesday morning.

Officer Michael Sippel is facing one count of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. Sippel and another officer, Spenser McAvoy, were accused of beating Christopher Pate when he was stopped by the two officers on May 5, 2018. The stop ended up being a case of mistaken identity.

Pate said he provided identification after being prompted twice, but was still grabbed, had a stun gun used on him, was put in handcuffs and punched in the face. All charges against him were eventually dropped. Pate has undergone surgery for bone fractures to his face as a result of the officer's use of force against him.

The Monroe County District Attorney's Office charged Sippel and McAvoy in the case and presented evidence to a grand jury. The grand jury chose to indict Sippel but not McAvoy.

This will be a bench trial, meaning that there will be no jury present in the courtroom. Monroe County Court Judge Thomas Rainbow Morse will preside over the case and issue a decision at a later date.

“No one is above the law. Not law enforcement, not him,” said Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Gina Clark during opening arguments of the bench trial. Clark looked at Sippel when she said 'him.' She went on to describe what she called an abuse of power by Sippel during the stop.

Sippel is being represented by attorney Clark Zimmermann, who said his client tried to avoid using force. He added that Pate responded to an initial request for identification by saying, "I don’t have to show you [expletive]."



By: ThisIsButter (42001.00)

Tags: footage showing attack of Christopher Pate

Location: Rochester, NY