Rochester NY PD Investigator Suspended after Handcuffing Black On-Duty EMT at Hospital

A Rochester NY police investigator was suspended after he was caught on video handcuffing a Black EMT worker after she bumped his vehicle in a hospital ambulance bay while unloading a patient.

Lekia Smith, the EMT from Monroe Ambulance, accidentally bumped the Rochester investigator’s car while she was unloading a patient.

The Rochester investigator, later identified as Charles LoTempio, asked for Smith’s identification but insisted on getting her patient inside the hospital first.

When Smith unloaded the stretcher and began checking in the patient, the Rochester investigator grabbed the EMT’s arms behind her back, handcuffed her, and dragged her to his police car.

David Smith, Rochester Police Department’s Police Chief, said that the investigator involved has been placed on paid leave pending an internal investigation into the July 11 incident.

LoTempio who joined the Rochester Police Department in 2005 was promoted to investigator in 2015, despite a significant history of abuse of power, and abuse of force incidents and complaints.

Monroe Ambulance also responded to the incident and issued a statement last Friday.

“Monroe Ambulance leadership and employees sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support through social media for our highly valued employee that was put in an untenable situation. We steadfastly stand by her prioritization of the care for her patient and are blessed by your willingness to publicly support her patient advocacy,” Monroe Ambulance said in a statement.

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