Rochester police cleared of Simran Gordon shooting death

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  • Simran Gordon, 24, was killed by an officer responding to an attempted armed robbery at the Family Dollar at 715 W. Main St. on October 6, 2021.
  • After the shooting, former police chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan told reporters the man shot by police, who has not yet been publicly identified, was a suspect in three city murders.
  • Gordon’s family and Free the People Roc, the community group responsible for organizing many of Daniel Prude’s protests, criticized the police department’s comments about Gordon after his death.
  • A spokesperson for the Rochester Police Department declined to comment on the report, citing an open internal investigation.

The state attorney general’s office cleared Rochester police in the fatal shooting of Simran Gordon last year, but rebuked the department for ‘problematic’ statements accusing Gordon of unrelated crimes when announcing the his death, according to a report released Friday.

Gordon, 24, was killed by an officer responding to an attempted armed robbery at the Family Dollar at 715 W. Main St. on October 6, 2021.

According to the report, Gordon led responders in a chase through the store and fired a single shot in the direction of Officer John Boyle, who responded with gunfire, fatally striking Gordon at four. occasions.

After the shooting, former police chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan told reporters the man shot by police, who has not yet been publicly identified, was a suspect in three city murders.

But the Office of Special Investigations, a unit within the AG’s office that investigates deaths of civilians by police officers in New York, said the murder allegations were not relevant to their investigation into the shooting. the police because the officers were responding to a separate crime and were unaware of the allegations against Gordon.

And he urged police departments to take “special care to avoid prejudice or influence” when they make statements about civilians who die in clashes with the police.

“While not relevant to the OSI’s analysis, the police department’s allegations are nonetheless problematic,” the report said.

Family and community reviews

The OSI said statements like Herriott-Sullivan’s are painful for surviving family members, could give the impression that the person’s ‘personality was assaulted in an effort to justify police conduct. and could harm public opinion about the inquests into the person’s death.

“Statements based on mere suspicion should be avoided,” the OSI recommended in its report.

Gordon’s family and Free the People Roc, the community group responsible for organizing many of Daniel Prude’s protests, criticized the police department’s comments about Gordon after his death.

FTP Rock:“Every person who has been shot by the police this year has had their character murdered”

FTP Roc claimed Gordon had not yet been identified at the time of Herriott-Sullivan’s statements and said his comments were “designed to justify his murder”.

A spokesperson for the Rochester Police Department declined to comment on the report, citing an open internal investigation.

Body Worn Cameras Show What Happened At The Family Dollar

Body-worn camera footage, which was notably absent from several police-involved shootings last year, was released by the Rochester Police Department and Attorney General’s Office about a week after Gordon’s death, and helped with the investigation.

The Attorney General’s office has consistently recommended body-worn cameras as a tool for transparency and accountability, including this recommendation in other recent investigative reports.

After:Rochester police have authorized the fatal shooting of Timothy Flowers. His mom still has questions

Video of the incident shows police entering the Family Dollar to find a man wearing a blue hoodie standing behind the counter with both hands in his hoodie pocket. When the police tell him to take his hands out of his pockets, the man leads the two officers on a chase through the store.

The video then records a series of shots, and the man falls to the ground.

(Body-worn camera footage of this case can be viewed here. Warning: This video contains graphic images.)

According to the report, Gordon entered the store around 9:30 p.m., showed store employees a gun in his sweatshirt pocket, and demanded money from the cash registers and safe. A store manager entered the code in the safe but told Gordon it worked with a five-minute delay, while another employee at the back of the store called 911.

Officers John Boyle and Mary Yare responded to the scene minutes later. When Gordon ran, Boyle followed him down an aisle, while Yare ran down a parallel aisle, according to the report.

Boyle told investigators Gordon fired once in his direction during the chase and the officer responded by firing four shots. Gordon fell to the ground, but Boyle said he saw the man point his gun towards the next aisle, where Yare approached and Boyle fired one final shot.

Gordon was struck four times and pronounced dead at the scene at 9:43 p.m., according to the report.

Investigators recovered a pistol and a brown paper bag from the scene, matching the weapon described by the 911 caller. Fragments of a single bullet matching the flat nose design of bullets from Gordon’s pistol were were found in a box of dishes nearby, and investigators said the hit marks on the box indicate the projectile was fired in Boyle’s direction.

“In this case, the investigation showed that Mr. Gordon first fired at the officer and then appeared to threaten the other officer with his weapon after he fell,” the report determined. “In these circumstances, given the law and the evidence, a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer who fired was justified, and OSI has determined that criminal charges could not be brought against the officer.”

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