Attorney representing family of Gary Strobridge releases statement about assault charge filed against Elmira officer
As many get set to put this year to rest by spending time, virtually or otherwise, with their loved ones, there are others who are not as fortunate. Some must instead try and take solace with the prospect of justice for the cruel killing of their sons, brothers, and sisters by our government. Yesterday, upon the Attorney Generals' indictment of Eduardo Oropallo relative to the death of Gary Strobridge, his family and my clients received the somewhat hollow gift of hope that his killer will suffer consequence.
Pray for the lost and their families... for them, there is no harder time of year.
-On behalf of the Strobridge family, we believe that the Attorney General’s indictment of police officer Eduardo Oropallo, a City of Elmira police officer, on a violent felony charge is a significant step towards obtaining some measure of justice for the loss of Gary Strobridge. Strobridge, 47, was killed while in police custody on August 22, 2019.
However, there are still very troubling questions relative to Mr. Strobridge’s demise as well as the events that have transpired in the last year and half. It is our understanding that Mr. Oropallo has still been working on the taxpayer dollar since the events which occurred that day. A video clearly depicts Officer Oropallo slamming Mr. Strobridge’s head against the ground numerous times when he was in a prone position and handcuffed. The fact that Oropallo, who previously has excessive force complaints lodged against him, could continue prowling the community at the taxpayer dollar and putting its citizens at risk is a deep concern to the Strobridge family.
Also, Mr. Oropallo is now charged with causing a serious physical injury to Strobridge. Mr. Strobridge did not just suffer a serious physical injury; he died while in police custody. Our review indicates that manslaughter would have been the appropriate charge. Also, it is our understanding that Oropallo has been released on his own recognizance. We are of the firm belief that despite the charges lodged against Oropallo, he has still been given the royal treatment relative to the crimes he committed.
Gary Strobridge was in the throes of a mental health crisis, but otherwise healthy, when Elmira Police arrived on scene. Due to a parity of errors, Mr. Strobridge was left beaten to a pulp while on life support some two hours later. This case is emblematic of the need to change our method of policing and have mental health workers respond to scenes as opposed to police officers. While Mr. Strobridge was on the roof, one officer was overheard saying, “Well if he wants to jump, he can go ahead and jump. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
“Simply put, it is our belief that not one officer showed up on scene and had any intention to help Gary Strobridge get through his mental health crisis, “said Strobridge’s civil rights attorney Matthew Albert. “When all one has is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. Mr. Strobridge’s death is the result of a culture designed to raise revenue and punish, as opposed to protecting and serving. Things need to change.”
The attorney representing Gary Strobridge's family in a federal lawsuit filed against several Elmira Police Officers has released a statement regarding the assault charge filed against one of the o...