Monroe County

Investigative report reveals disproportionate use of force on Black juveniles by Rochester Police Department

Rochester, New York – A recent investigation by the Police Accountability Board (PAB) has shed light on concerning patterns regarding the use of force by the Rochester Police Department (RPD) on juveniles. The report, titled “Juvenile Use of Force: An Oversight Investigation,” offers a comprehensive analysis of the interactions between police officers and minors, revealing that a significant majority of these incidents disproportionately involve Black children, primarily males.

Key Findings from the Report

The PAB’s investigation, the first of its kind to delve into systemic public safety data within the city, examined over 1,100 reports related to juvenile encounters with the police. The findings are alarming:

  • Nearly 80% of the use of force incidents involved Black children.
  • Approximately 30% of these incidents were in response to mental health crises.
  • Incidents often occurred during search warrant executions (about 11%) and traffic stops (6%), with officers frequently drawing firearms. In 27% of the analyzed incidents, handguns were pointed at children.

The data for this analysis was provided by the RPD itself, though the department has since denied further requests for additional reports and body camera footage for the majority of these incidents. This refusal raises concerns about transparency and accountability within the department.

The PAB’s report underscores a critical need for reform in how law enforcement interactions with minors are handled, especially in situations involving Black children. It highlights the urgency of addressing systemic biases and the importance of developing policing practices that ensure the safety and dignity of all community members, regardless of age or race.

As the PAB launches its second Oversight Investigation focusing on the discipline of sworn members of the RPD, the findings of this report remain a crucial step toward understanding and improving police-community relations in Rochester. For more information and to access the full report, visit

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