Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rochester, N.Y. Police try their Intimidation Tactics to get me to Stop Exposing Them!

By Davy V.
Rochester, N.Y. Police officers
retaliate against Emily Good supporters, June 2011

Almost a year ago, after Emily Good, the Rochester, N.Y. woman whose story went international after she was arrested by Rochester, N.Y. police officer Mario Masic after she videotaped a racially profiled traffic stop of an African-American motorist by Masic and other RPD officers, I attended a support meeting for her at the Flying Squirrel Community Center on Clarissa Street in Rochester's historic Corn Hill neighborhood.

In the middle of that meeting, former Rochester, N.Y. Police Westside division Commander Samuel Farina sent at least 4 Rochester, NY police officers to retaliate against Good's supporters, (myself included) by pulling out pink children's rulers and measuring the distance that our vehicles were parked from the curb.

The video, "Davy V. Exposes Rochester, N.Y. Police Intimidation Tactics", which can be seen on Youtube, not only shows RPD officers ticketing cars, but also shows Rochester Police parked across the street from where the meeting was held, conducting surveillance.

Much like Emily Good's arrest video which shows Masic shining his flashlight in Good's face as he is heard threatening to arrest her if she did not go in her house and stop recording him, the video I filmed of Rochester, N.Y. Police officers retaliating against myself, and others, also went viral on Social media sites, including Youtube.

And, much like Emily Good's incident of the Rochester, N.Y. Police department violating her First Ammendment right to videotape law enforcement from her own yard, the RPD's, planned and ordered retaliation by Commander Samuel Farina also made international news headlines, including being reported on by CNN. In fact, shortly after that incident, I was in Miami, Florida when I saw my video on the television show Inside Edition.

And, after an investigation by Rochester, N.Y. Police Chief James Sheppard into the RPD's retaliation against innocent citizens, Sheppard called a news conference to announce that his investigation revealed that the incident was what he called "Selective Targeting" by several Rochester Police officers and, that as a result of this incident, there would be a "change in command" in the RPD's Westside division.

This was the closest that Sheppard would come to saying that RPD's Westside division Commander Samuel Farina had been ordered to resign for ordering this retaliation, or risk being fired and losing his pension.

Well, it seems that the Rochester Police department didn't learn too much from their last attempt at intimidating and coercing citizens in this community with their well known corrupt intimidation tactics.

And, it seems as though once again as a result of my relentless, consistent work over the past 15 plus years exposing the Rochester, N.Y. Police department and their long history of misconduct, corruption, and executing mentally-ill persons such as Israel "Izzy" Andino, who was executed by 7 Rochester, N.Y. Police officers on Thursday, June 21, 2012, I am a high profile target for the the RPD.

It's something that doesn't really surprise me, I mean, who wouldn't be a target when they have dedicated themselves to exposing a corrupt police force?

I will never forget an interesting encounter I had with a Rochester, N.Y. Police officer several years ago, at a Tops Supermarket, where he was working his second job as in-store security. At the time, THE SOURCE Hip Hop magazine, a major music publication distributed internationally, had just done a one page Q&A interview on me and my work exposing police misconduct. As I was walking out of the store, the African-American officer came up to me and said  that he wanted me to know that there were Rochester Police officers, like himself, who actually supported me and my work. He told me an interesting story...

He said that while in the locker room at the RPD's former Goodman section (this is before the RPD went to an east and west division) that several RPD officers had the issue of THE SOURCE Magazine with my interview and photo. The officer told me that one of the officers ripped it up and tossed it in the garbage can. The officer then told me that he said the following to that officer "It's because of guys like you, that he (meaning me) does what he does." The officer then shook my hand and told me that he belonged to a Black RPD officers group, and told me to keep doing what I was doing. Unfortunately, this same officer was killed in an off duty motorcycle accident shortly after.

In interviews, I am always asked where do I get my passion from, for exposing injustices, namely police misconduct, on the part of the Rochester N.Y. Police department. My answer? My Dad. My father, Mario Vara was a very outspoken critic of the Rochester, N.Y. Police department and a community activist against police misconduct here in Rochester.

As a teenager in the 1980's I would tag along with my Dad to all the Rallies and Marches he took part in. I remember my Dad meeting with Al Sharpton when he would visit Rochester. I recall my Dad going to Rochester City Council meetings and demanding that the Mayor and elected officials do their job, and hold police accountable. My Dad also fought hard for a true independent Civilian review board with real subpoeana power, something that more than 25 years later, we still don't have.

As a result of my Dad's work, the Rochester, N.Y. Police department made his life miserable. They would harass and intimdate him all the time. Unfortunately, my Dad fell into a very bad deep depression and committed suicide while me and my mom were home.

I remember when my Dad's body was being brought out in a body bag, several Rochester Police officers stood in front of the house I grew up in at 184 Child Street, and laughed while they smoked cigarettes.

I will never forget that.

Years ago, Rochester, N.Y. Police officer Thomas Rodriguez, a Cuban like myself, told my brother that he hated my Dad and he was glad that my Dad killed himself. Rodriguez then placed his hands around my brother's neck and tried to choke him in a hospital room. If it wasn't for a nurse who walked in and saw Rodriguez trying to strangle my brother, I hate to think what would have happened.

So you see, I wasn't really surprised when I received this email today.

becarefull with rochester police because they may go after you all im council getting tired of you and there trying to figure out how to stop your protesting.

It's just another attempt by the corrupt Rochester, N.Y. Police department to silence me like they did my Dad.

But it won't work. It just tells me that I'm doing something right and that my work is getting to them, and that it's time to turn up the heat.

Click the links below

Inside Edition Story on Emily Good's arrest by Rochester Police

Davy V. Exposes Rochester Police Intimidation Tactics

Please Support My Work.

For the past 15 years I have dedicated myself and my passion to exposing police misconduct and corruption. Whether it's exposing injustices such as police executing a mentally ill person, or police coming to someone's home and shooting their innocent family dog, I am always working to put these stories out there, which usually are ignored by mainstream media.

People always ask me how they can help me? Well, as a father of three young children, my income is limited, and the best way to help is with contributions. If you like what I am doing as a writer and activist exposing police misconduct and corruption, then please consider donating.

Whether it's $ 1 dollar or $ 5 dollars - it helps with gas, setting up Rallies and Protests denouncing these injustices, etc. I could also use a better video camera, and a laptop computer to be able to work when I'm not home and be able to post and upload articles, photos and videos when I'm out on the streets, so if you believe in my work, please support me.

Thank you.

Send donations to:

David Vara
207 Tremont Street
Rochester, N.Y. 14608

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