Officer Michael Sippel of the Rochester (NY) Police Department pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge that he assaulted a Rochester man who had been wrongly identified as a burglary suspect, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

Rochester resident Christopher Pate was injured during a confrontation with two police officers—Sippel and Spenser McAvoy—in May. A grand jury found enough evidence to criminally charge Sippel, but not enough for charges against McAvoy.

Sippel’s attorney—Clark Zimmermann—said after Thursday’s arraignment that Pate closely resembled a burglary suspect whom the officers were searching for. He said Pate refused to provide identification, increasing the officer’s suspicions, and refused to stop when officers tried to question him.

Sippel has been suspended without pay.


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