Press release from the Syracuse Police Department
Syracuse, N.Y. — The Syracuse Police Department today released additional video footage of the incident between an SPD public order unit officer and a media photographer at the Public Safety Building on May 30 during a violent attack on police headquarters.
Citing the immediacy of the threat occurring at the time and the positioning of the photographer between police and those attacking the building, shown in the video, Chief Buckner concluded the officer’s reactions were reasonable and necessary. See Chief Buckner’s full press conference here.
The officer, Sergeant Todd Cramer, was the squad leader within the unit. In that role, he is the only member of the squad with the authority to leave the ranks to ensure a clear path for the unit. Cramer pushed the photographer causing him to fall to ground sustaining cuts and bruises and damaged camera equipment.
“Our goal was to clear the area to allow the public order unit to effectively engage the individuals who were assaulting and damaging public facilities,” Chief Buckner said.
Four videos from exterior and interior security cameras and a body worn camera from a member of the public order unit were shared:
- Exterior PSB Crowd Footage One 5.30.20
- Interior PSB Footage 5.30.20
- Public Order Unit Body Camera 5.30.20 (WARNING: Strong Language)
- Exterior PSB Crowd Footage Two 5.30.20
The department conducted an investigation of the incident after receiving a complaint from Advance Media NY, the parent company of Syracuse.com, including a three second video taken by the photographer.
“I support the Chief’s decision. That doesn’t mean I think what happened is a good outcome, but I understand why it occurred,” Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said. “My focus is on making sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Chief Buckner repeated his apology to the photographer, which he previously delivered privately to the photographer and to Advance Media NY, as well as to the general public. He recommitted to conducting joint training between the public order unit and the news media regarding how media and police can operate safely in the same space. The Department also proposed coordinating with news media on a new credentialing system for reporters and photographers.
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