Rochester community asking for body camera footage, after fatal altercation with US Marshals

State News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On Thursday, Attorney General’s Office released an update on the death of 24 year old Dedrick James, following an altercation with law enforcement Wednesday. A full investigation has been launched.

Their statement provides more details into the incident as it unfolded:

On the morning of September 15, 2021, members of the Multi-Agency Fugitive Task Force, including the Rochester Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, and United States Marshals Service, responded to 6 Vinewood Place in the city of Rochester to serve an arrest warrant for Dedrick James. Another individual answered the door, and after law enforcement entered the home, Mr. James allegedly fled to a bathroom. Once officers entered the bathroom, Mr. James allegedly displayed a firearm, and a brief struggle ensued while officers attempted to disarm him. During that encounter, the firearm allegedly in Mr. James’ possession discharged and one bullet entered his chest. Mr. James died as a result of that single gunshot wound. 

Community activists are not only asking for this investigation, but also for the full release of body camera footage as soon as possible.

Rev. Lewis Stewart, community leader and president of United Christian Ministries is one of those calling for footage. He says there are too many unanswered questions, and the public deserves to know more.

“I’m just asking for what are the facts that’s it,” he said. “What was it about the level of the suspects’ crime that would merit that type of police task force? The person was in Wayne County, what was the person doing there?”

Antonia Wynter of Community Justice Initiative agrees and says she needs to see the incident unfold, with the full body camera footage. 

“A lot of details are left to be unknown, we really can’t make a decision on exactly what happened because we weren’t there,” she said.

Some groups like Free The People Roc saying on social media this morning officers need to be held accountable, and calling it a murder. 

Wynter says it’s too soon for her to take any sides, but she believes there is room for improvement on community policing.

“There are a lot of different agents coming in and out of our community and it can be overwhelming. What we don’t want, is we don’t want over-policing,” she said.

News 8 reached out to Free the People Roc for comment and have not gotten a response.

A statement from New York State Police Thursday morning says the following:

On September 15, 2021, at approximately 10:40 a.m., the US Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force comprised of US Marshals, State Police, Rochester Police, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office attempted to serve an arrest warrant for Assault 2nd Degree on a wanted subject at 6 Vinewood Place in the city of Rochester.

The wanted individual attempted to flee back into the residence and physically struggled with members of the Fugitive Task Force.  The wanted individual identified as Dedrick J. James, age 24, produced a loaded handgun and during the struggle one round was discharged from his weapon striking his upper body.

No law enforcement officers involved discharged their weapons and lifesaving techniques were utilized unsuccessfully on Mr. James who died at the scene.

The New York State Attorney General’s Office was notified and is on scene and will work with the Rochester Police Department and the State Police in the investigation.

News 8 also reached out to U.S. Marshalls for a response.

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