WATCH: Video of Arrest at University of Rochester Raises Questions About Police Response

Video of an arrest made at the University of Rochester over the weekend has been shared hundreds of times on social media and is now sparking questions about how University Police handled the situation.

The incident happened on the River campus Saturday night. News10NBC is told the man who was handcuffed was a student at the University but he’s not taking summer classes. The night before, he was using a computer lab and was told by University Police to leave. The night of the incident, according to people who were there, the man was on the quad outside with friends when he was approached by University Police again and handcuffed.

After asking an officer whether it was legal for him to take video of the arrest, a friend began recording. This is the conversation that ensued:

Officer: Hey buddy, do me a favor, as long as you’re still a student here and you’re okay to be here which you were last night, you’d be better off just heading back right where you’re going alright? This is between us so…

Friend: He’s my friend and I….

Officer: Right now, this is a law enforcement situation here.

Friend: yea, I know, I asked you before I started this video, is it legal for me to be taking video?

Officer: It’s not illegal for you to record it but right now you’re obstructing me doing my job by being here, so time to take a walk.

Friend: If it is legal, I would rather stay and take the video.

Officer: What I’m telling you though is it’s time to go, so you can either go or you’re gonna get arrested for obstructing because right now you’re obstructing and interfering with my investigation right now. Okay?

Friend: So, it’s the video that is obstructing or is it me existing here?

Officer: Right now, you interfering, having this conversation and videotaping me is obstructing what I’m doing right now, okay?

Friend: Um, okay since I don’t know the law, I’m going to turn off the video right now and I’m going to leave.

2nd Officer: Do you have ID with you?

Friend: Yea, yea.

2nd Officer: Let me see that please?

Friend: I’m going to leave, just because I don’t want to be arrested right now.

University of Rochester Spokeswoman Sara Miller tells News10NBC, “The Department of Public Safety arrested Mohammed Rifat for trespassing. Mr. Rifat is a former student who is not enrolled at the University. After being found to have gained unauthorized access to various buildings on campus in the last few weeks, his University ID was confiscated and he was warned to stay away from campus or be subject to arrest…A member of the College staff met with Mr. Rifat last week to offer assistance and the University will continue to try to provide support to him.”

In regards to the video which was taken by a current student, Miller says, “The University is committed to respectful engagement with campus visitors and members of our campus community, and will conduct a review of DPS actions and the circumstances of the arrest.”


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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