Police chief defends officers' use of force in Facebook video

Lockport Union-2 months before

Comments such, “That’s a shame & disgrace,” as well as, “Should have complied instead of resisting,” went back and forth with some questioning the officer’s action, and others agreeing with it.

Lockport Police Chief Steven Abbott identified the Oct. 24 incident as one that had been detailed in the US&J involving Jose A. Molina, 35, who was arrested for an alleged strangulation attempt on the mother of his children, which is a felony offense.

Jolly Tennyson, a Lockport native, took the video of Molina being detained because, “It explains it for itself.”
...br>Tennyson said Molina was a friend and the police were treating him badly. The video can help him, he said. Tennyson also mentioned that the police’s body cameras do not always work, as they did not in the Troy Hodge case on June 16, 2019.

Abbott said the video was a “snippet” of what occurred there. According to police, Molina was uncooperative in the investigation, particularly when he interrupted while the alleged victim tried to give a statement. Police said they asked him to leave, but he would not, and an attempt to detain him resulted in Molina trying to fight with an officer.

As seen on the video, a Taser was deployed but didn’t result in the desired action for Molina to place his hands behind his back. Abbott also said officers recovered a meat cleaver from Molina, which raised the situation to “deadly force.”

Tennyson was adamant that Molina had no weapon. He also said that in these times, recording the police has become a duty for those who are present.

“Anytime the police come to your house, everyone has their videos out,” he said. “That’s what I saw. That’s what it is.”

The incident is one of 20 “use of force” altercations the LPD has sustained so far this year. All such incidents are reported to the state, said Abbott. He also said he would be giving a public presentation on them after the first of the year to show how much his department has had to use force.

“We don’t have much (situations like those),” he said. “But it’s good for transparency (to show what we have).”

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