The defense has rested its case in the assault trial of Rochester police officer Michael Sippel, accused of using excessive force in the arrest of Christopher Pate. Officer Sippel was not called to the stand.
During that arrest a year ago, Pate suffered broken bones in his face. The prosecution contends Sippel struck Pate in the face; the defense says Sippel's punch actually struck Pate in the back of the head, and he was injured in a fall to the ground. Pate says he was taken down, tased and beaten.
The defense contends Sippel's punch was allowed under department policy in an attempt to stop Pate from resisting and the officer was acting in his official capacity, even though it turned out Pate wasn't the burglary suspect Sippel and his partner thought they were confronting.
The trial is being heard by Judge Thomas Morse, who must decide the verdict.