|Rochester, NY Police officer|
In the summer of 2005, then Rochester, New York Police Chief Cedric Alexander announced the creation of the Rochester Police department's Emotionally Disturbed Persons Response Team (EDPRT), a team specially trained to deal with despondent, suicidal, and emotionally unstable individuals.
Ironically, just days after Alexander announced this special team, 13 year old LaShedica Mason, who was suicidal, grabbed a knife and locked herself up in the bathroom of her mother's home on Rochester's eastside.
Little did her mom know, that when she would make a call to 911 call asking for help, the responding Rochester, NY police officer would end up almost killing her daughter.
Rochester Police officer Mark Simmons shot LaShedica three times, including once in her abdomen. As a result of her injuries, LaShedica's gall bladder, as well as several feet of her intestines had to be removed during surgery.
Interestingly, the Rochester Police department's EDPRT which was developed specifically for people just like LaShedica, was never deployed.
Fast forward to Thursday, June 21, 2012. Twenty year old Israel Andino, known as "Izzy", got into a physical fight with his mother, Carmen Baez in their Locust Street home on Rochester's northwest side.
According to Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard, his officers responded to 72 Locust St. for a 911 call, which he claims Andino himself made stating that he had just stabbed his mother and that he was going out to the street to shoot others.
Some witnesses reported seeing Baez, sitting on the front porch of the home, bleeding from her head, before being taken away by ambulance to a local hospital.
At this point, what happens next is a question of who you choose to believe, and given the Rochester, New York Police department's long history of cover ups, misconduct, abuse and executing innocent, and yes, mentally-ill individuals, I'm not buying their story.
Chief Sheppard says that Andino, was holding a long gun, and that officers tried to diffuse the situation and get him to drop the weapon.
Rochester Police say that Andino then walked to the corner of Locust Street and Emerson Street, walked back down the street, and at that point fired at police officers. It was at this point where Rochester Police Sgt. Aaron Colletti, Sgt. Mike Nicholls, Officer Antonio Gonzalez, Officer Brian Cala, Officer Greg Karnes, Officer Onasis Socol, and Officer Eluid Rodriguez (pictured above), ALL opened fire on Israel Andino, killing him instantly.
The 7 Rochester Police officers have a combined 98-years experience on the force.
Given the corrupt Rochester, N.Y. Police department, I will choose to believe Dianne Diaz, an eye-witness to the entire incident who saw a much different series of events "He took the gun off of his shoulder and went like this, and had it like that. He didn't shoot it. He didn't point it at no police officers. He didn't put it to his chin as other people say, or any of that. They shot him down innocently."
While local media, as always, later spun and twisted the facts, reporting at one point that Carmen Baez, Andino's mother sufferred "stab wounds" to her head and neck, in reality, she suffered some cuts, and was actually released from the hospital within a few hours, indicating that her injuries, were not consistent with actual "stab wounds." In fact, Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard stated Baez's injuries were "not life threatening."
The truth was that Israel Andino had some mental health issues, and yes, he did get into a fight with his mother and did injure her, but we are talking about a person with mental health issues who was executed by 7 cops, the equivalent of a firing squad!
A friend of Israel had this to say. "I've known him for about five years. He was very secluded, to himself, up until the last couple of years. He's a good kid. He did get into trouble in his younger years. I believe he's on probation. He has been acting a little weird the last couple of weeks, a little more distant than he usually is, but other than that he's a great kid. I like him. He plays with my kids. I have a nine year old, a seven year old, and a three year old, and my three year old adores him. He was a great kid. I hope his family gets peace. I hope that they do their investigation and that the family gets peace. That's all I want."
At a news conference at the Public Safety Building, Rochester, N.Y. Police Chief James Sheppard said that his officers tried unsuccessfully to taser Israel Andino.
Given the R.P.D.'s intitial story, I doubt that any officers attempted to taser Andino, especially if, as they have reported, he was carrying a "long gun', which they later said was loaded with a deer slug.
Perhaps the two most disturbing facts of this incident are these...
First of all, once again, the Rochester, N.Y. Police department drops the ball on the "model call" for their Emotionally Disturbed Persons Response Team (EDPRT), a disturbed individual with a history of mental health issues, walking around with a "long gun."
And, I find it extremely disturbing that 7 Rochester, N.Y. Police officers, with a total combined experience of 98 years on the force, ALL shot and executed a mentally-ill person.
Perhaps Joel Fuentas, Andino's stepfather says it best. "It's not talking the truth. Everyone saw what happened in the street, and they sent seven police men to him. Why seven? You think's that's not abuse? You're overpowering people."
Fuentas, who raised Israel since he was two-years-old, says Israel was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He says the 20-year-old did not take his medication that morning, which wasn't uncommon, but he says Andino has never attacked his family members before.
Fuentas says Andino's mother, Carmen Baez, told police numerous times that her son was bipolar and not fully aware of his actions.
"You gave him no escape. You know you're going to die if seven policemen shoot you in the chest,” Fuentas said.
Israel Andino was celebrating his 20th birthday today.
Please help Israel "Izzy" Andino's family with burial expenses and to get him a gravestone.
Here is the link.
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