Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 2, 2014

Falls police reviewing 19th Street arrest caught on video

The Niagara Falls Police Department is investigating an arrest caught on video by a pedestrian in the 600 block of 19th Street Tuesday night.

The arrest, which involved a struggle between officers and the suspect, was recorded on a cell phone video that was later posted on the Facebook page of a relative of the man who was arrested.

There was no indication from police brass that the officers did anything wrong during the arrest, although Police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto confirmed Wednesday that the matter is under review. 

“The proper use of force forms were completed,” DalPorto said. “We investigate all use of force and we will look into the totality of the circumstances and assess the use of force (in this case).”

Officers said they responded, at around 9:30 p.m., to a call of trespassing. It was the second time cops had been sent to the 600 block of 19th Street for the same suspect.

On their way to the call, officers said they spotted Frederick Johnson, who matched the description of the trespass suspect. When an officer attempted to stop Johnson to question him, police said Johnson began to back away from him.

At that point, two more officers had arrived as back-up and the officer on the street tried to grab Johnson by the arm. Johnson pushed the officer and began to run, according to police.

The officers gave chase and Johnson made an effort to hide in some nearby bushes. As officers converged on him, Johnson began running again, police said.

By this time, a police lieutenant had joined the chase and officers finally succeeded in catching Johnson. But he struggled with the officers.

A police report of the incident indicated that although the lieutenant and two of the officers “were giving verbal commands” to Johnson to stop resisting, “Johnson was not listening.”

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