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Scrutiny of arrest caught on tape
Henrietta, N.Y. --- Ryan Conklin and the Monroe County Sheriffs Office have different takes on the circumstances that resulted in his arrest on July 4th. One thing they agree on, albeit for different reasons, is that it was a good thing a portion of the encounter was captured on videotape.
"I'm grateful, very grateful that Alex was quick thinking and got an excellent videotape, Conklin said of his friend Alex Pulvino who recorded the encounter on his cell phone. "I would like the public to see what is actually going on out there, that this is actually happening not just to bad people, which maybe the deputy thought initially it's happening to good people just asking the question.
"The video is totally supportive of the deputies actions, said Monroe County Sheriffs Office Spokesman, Corporal John Helfer. Witness statements are very supportive of the deputy's actions basically a lot happened before that video was shot we're very comfortable with that.
Ryan Conklin describes his side of things, and offers personal background on himself, on this Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/supportryanconklin/timeline
Conklins encounter with deputies happened around 2 a.m. on July 4th at Henrietta Hots on West Henrietta Road. Conklin claims he was in the restaurant only long enough to place his order. He then saw three deputies arrive and place orders and says that is when he asked them why all three were taking their lunch break at a time when drunk drivers could be leaving local bars.
That is when Conklin, and his friend Pulvino, say the deputies positioned themselves around him and the situation got heated in a matter of seconds.
"He escalated the situation instead of de-escalating it," said Conklin of the deputy who confronted him face-to-face. "I was asking a civil servant a question, a taxpayer asking a civil servant a question shouldn't result in an arrest."
Conklin said he was taken to the Sheriffs Office B-Zone where he was kept in a holding cell for two hours. The whole time he said he was handcuffed in a manner that left his left arm twisted upwards and in pain but deputies didnt correct it despite his complaints.
He was issued a ticket for disorderly conduct and plans to fight that charge.
"He got aggressive with me, he came right at me aggressively and it concerned me and I was actually quite startled that that happened because the way that I was speaking to him was as I would talk to any person, said Conklin of his encounter with the deputy who confronted him face-to-face. He came right at me and at that point he told me to turn around and I know turning around means to get handcuffed and I wasn't going for it because I didn't do anything wrong.
"I would say I was scared when I was put in there because I was in a situation where I had no control over it and I was in handcuffs all the time, Conklin added.
The Sheriffs Office claims the situation is very different from the one Conklin describes. They claim Conklin was intoxicated, something Conklin vehemently denies, and that he was loud and belligerent inside the restaurant for quite some time before his friend rolled videotape.
"What preceded the incident that was taped was the individual yelling very loudly, yelling profanities at the deputy being belligerent, being out of hand and that is supported by three employees as well, said Corporal Helfer of the sworn statements he said Henrietta Hots employees gave to deputies.
Helfer said the deputies who met there for food included a supervisor and two deputies from different patrols so there was not a lack of law enforcement on the road. He said the deputies are always on call and if something happens theyll leave their break in a moment.
The Sheriffs Office encourages anyone to come forward and file a complaint with the Internal Affairs division if they feel deputies did not behave appropriately, Helfer explained. He added that no such complaint was filed in this case.
Conklin said he encourages other citizens to videotape their interactions with police. He thinks it actually helps citizens and police in many situations.
"I think it's a good thing both waysfor civilians like us to protect ourselves but I think it's (also) good for police officers that have civilians taping this because I believe they probably get false accusations, said Conklin. So I'm saying it's a two-sided thing and, once again, I've said it many times, I'm not anti-police I'm anti-police brutality.