A Rochester police officer accused of assaulting a man during an arrest has been found guilty. Judge Thomas R. Morse delivered the verdict Tuesday morning. Officer Michael Sippel was charged in connection with the incident of May of 2018. Prosecutors say he assaulted Christopher Pate in a case of mistaken identity. Sippel’s partner, Spenser McAvoy, testified he and Sippel though Pate was a wanted suspect. Pate says he showed officers ID, but was still handcuffed, beaten and had a stun gun used against him. There is body camera footage of the scuffle. Defense attorneys argued Sippel used a “discretionary blow,” which is permitted under police training as a means to redirect a suspect’s attention.
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