Veterans Outreach Center Director Todd Baxter
By Davy V.
They've sacrificed so much fighting for their country.
Many never returned.
Those who did make it back home from combat suffer from PTSD, depression and other mental health issues.
Some have no home.
They're our U.S. Veterans, and they're often overlooked.
In Rochester, NY U.S. Veterans are trying to make sense out of an incident which occurred last week where they say their constitutional rights were violated.
The veterans are hurt, and feeling betrayed by a man they thought they could trust.
That man, Todd Baxter, the Director of the Rochester, NY Veterans Outreach Center, or V.O.A., and the former Greece, NY Police Chief.
Here's what the veterans say happened.
On Friday March 18th, three Rochester, NY Police officers with K-9 dogs burst into the VOC's Richards House, a homeless shelter located at 290 Cypress St. in Rochester's South Wedge neighborhood.
According to the veterans, the Rochester Police officers went through the entire house with their K-9's, even entering locked rooms, searching through the veterans' personal belongings.
Without a warrant.
But perhaps even more disturbing is what one of the veterans told me, about who was behind the search by Rochester, NY cops.
None other than Todd Baxter.
VOC Director Todd Baxter.
"Recently, Todd Baxter authorized the VOC's Richards House as a training pit for the Rochester, NY Police Department's K-9 unit," said the veteran, who asked me not to publish his name out of fear of retaliation.
"The police arrived and ordered all the veterans out of the house," the veteran said.
"Then they ransacked everything, they went through our sleeping quarters."
The veteran said that the whole time the police searched their rooms and their belongings, the VOC staff didn't say a word.
"There was no explanation from any of the VOC staff, or the Rochester Police officers," the veteran said.
Below is a social media post the veteran posted on social media regarding the incident.
"Does the 4th amendment not count if you are a vulnerable homeless veteran? Why didn't Mr Baxter have the police ransack his home, or one of the board members? Did management assume that because many of us suffer from mental disabilities (PTSD) , substance abuse and homelessness that we shouldn't have a voice nor basic rights under the consitition?Does the right to privacy under the 4th amendment not apply to us because we are too weak and desperate? Why should the veterans be exploited to benefit the establishment? Most veterans have been through hell and back... we came to you (VOC) for help, instead we became your pawns."
For those not familiar with Todd Baxter, let me tell you a little about him.
Todd Baxter is a retired Rochester, NY Police officer, who went on to become Chief of Police for the Greece, NY Police Department, a police force with a long history of misconduct and corruption.
Baxter then retired from the Greece Police Department and went on to be named the Director of the Veterans Outreach Center.
And just recently, Todd Baxter went to work as a patrol officer for the Ogden, NY Police Department, making many Monroe County, NY taxpayers questionpension double-dipping.
Or is it pensions?
As someone who for years has exposed incidents of misconduct and corruption by law enforcement officials, and individuals in positions of authority, I find this incident very disturbing.
It seems Todd Baxter, who obviously still enjoys some great connections with his old cop buddies, is using his position, connections, and public figure image to abuse the less fortunate.
The down and out.
Our U.S. veterans.
For Todd Baxter to authorize illegal and unconstitutional searches of U.S veterans, many of whom have been traumatized enough already, many of whom suffer from PTSD, and to have cops with dogs burst into a home which is supposed to be a safe haven for these veterans, and subject them to illegal searches, is disgusting.
I will be updating this story soon.