Elmira Police Officer Found Not Guilty Of Assault

Earlier today, a jury found Elmira Police Department Officer Eduardo Oropallo not guilty on assault charges after the death of Elmira resident Gary Strobridge. 

In August 2019, Elmira Police responded to a home on Elmira’s Southside for a report of an emotionally disturbed person. When police arrived they found Strobridge on the roof of a two story home. Police decided he was a danger to himself or to others and took him into custody under the New York State Mental Hygiene Law and taken to Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

Strobridge

Police say that while at the hospital, Strobridge was cooperative, but he then became combative and allegedly attacked an officer. While trying to subdue him, Strobridge became unresponsive. He was later transported to Upstate Medical Center where he eventually died. 

Strobridge’s family contend police used excessive force and that a video of the incident shows Officer Orapollo assaulting Strobridge and slamming his head against the emergency department floor “multiple times” while handcuffed. Witnesses for the defense testified that Strobridge attacked Orapollo and that his actions, including striking Strobridge in the face, were acceptable defensive tactics. 

The jury deliberated for about an hour before handing down the verdict of “not guilty”. 

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