SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Syracuse Police Department is now defending the conduct of its officers after responding to an attack that occurred on University Avenue on Friday, Oct. 15, which saw one individual assaulted by five others. Videos of the altercation were shared across social media creating a large amount of outcry among Syracuse University students.
Public Information Officer Sgt. Matthew Malinowski said an investigation is currently open and there is no further comment on the investigation.
Malinowski did comment on how SPD Officers handled the situation upon arriving on the scene. He says there was only so much the officers who reported to the scene could do, because the fight had dispersed before officers got to to the scene of the altercation.
“The victim had already walked away,” Malinowski said. “When it comes to a fight type call or harassment type violations you still need victim cooperation to make any arrests. If it was an active fight obviously they would have broken up and investigated it then. But when all parties dispersed it is on the victim to talk to police.”
But the criticism for what transpired is still at a fever pitch. The video showed officers arguing with students and things getting rather heated between the two parties. Nina Tran is a first-year student at SU and was one of the main witnesses of the attack, sharing a lot of the videos on Twitter and Instagram. She is calling for change after what transpired.
“I think being complicit in general causes further harm to those situations and I think the police showing up and not even carrying about the victim just further harms the victim and is a big part of the problem,” Tran said.
“Obviously the people that were interacting with the officers were confused on why the officers couldn’t do more at the time,” Malinowski said. “But I also say that if you continue to argue with the officers it is going to distract them from even trying to speak to the victim.”
“It is just super frustrating,” Tran said. “Like people who have the label or the role to be taking care of you, aren’t taking care of you. ”
Head of the Department of Public Safety at Syracuse University, Bobby Maldonado, says that they are looking at security camera footage and social media to identify the individuals involved but at the time of this writing, no one has been identified and it has not been confirmed that any of the individuals involved in the fight have ties to SU.