Syracuse Police Department releases brand new “Use of Force” policy

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Nearly six months after Mayor Ben Walsh appointed a new police chief, the Syracuse Police Department has revised its “use of force” policy.

Along with the updated policy, the department has also released its already existing policies on “use of force,” body worn cameras, and officer demeanor on traffic stops.

Police say the release of these documents comes as a direct result of the May 31 arrest of a man on Grace Street, on the city’s west side.

The arrest of Shaolin Moore, 23, was captured on video by his passenger in the SUV with him and was shared on social media thousands of times, leading to anger by some in the community.

The video shows Moore, arguing with an officer and refusing to get out of his vehicle. The officer then pulled Moore out, pinned him to the ground and handcuffed him. He was charged with resisting arrest, as well breaking local sound reproduction laws.

In a police report obtained by NewsChannel 9, the officer explains he thought Moore could be connected to an incident police were investigating at nearby Skiddy Park moments before, where an illegal handgun and drugs were recovered.

The Police Department says it has been evaluating the arrest, and the newly released policies guided its review. 

On Monday, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner will will release the results of their review of the May 31st incident.

Additionally, the Mayor and the Chief say they will be hosting a community forum on the topic of use of force by police, which is tentatively scheduled for June 28th. Full details will be released at a later time.

After video of the arrest surfaced on social media, the President of Syracuse’s Common Council, Helen Hudson, released a statement saying she was “disturbed” by the video, and felt the force used was excessive. 

The president of the Syracuse Chapter of the NAACP expressed her dismay, and said the incident “conveys clearly the racial divide that exists between law enforcement and those they are sworn to protect and serve.”

Editorial Note: NewsChannel 9 was made aware of the video on Saturday, June 1st, but has decided not to report its contents until now. After several lengthy discussions between our news team and managers, it was decided that, in order to avoid escalating tensions, NewsChannel 9 would hold off on reporting any details of this situation until police announced plans to publicly release the results of their review.

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