|Rochester, N.Y. City Council President Lovely Warren
Last month I appeared before Rochester City Council to speak about the importance of a Civilian Review board with subpoena power to oversee the Rochester, New York Police Department as well as investigate cases of Police Brutality and Misconduct. The recent arrests of Monroe County Legislator Willie Lightfoot who was arrested and charged by rogue, prejudiced Rochester Police Officers outside his barber shop on Jefferson Ave, and Emily Good who was arrested by Rochester Police Officer Mario Masic because she videotaped Masic, and two other white officers conducting a racially profiled traffic stop of an African-American motorist in front of her home, once again proves something City Councilman Adam McFadden recently stated: The Rochester, New York Police Department is out of control!
As a result of the Emily Good case, I attended a support meeting for her at the Flying Squirrel Community Space on Clarissa St. As a filmmaker, most of my work has focused on exposing the Rochester, New York Police Department and their long history of abusing, and murdering unarmed, innocent African-Americans and Latinos. Therefore, I know very well how corrupt the Rochester, New York Police Department is, myself having been arrested before, and charged wth harassment by a Rochester cop who beat a mentally ill African-American man to death in a Wegmans parking lot in the city, and was upset that I exposed him in one of my films: R.P.D.: Badges of DISHONOR, CORRUPTION and MURDER!
In Emily Good's case, Rochester Police Officer Mario Masic violated her Civil Rights by arresting her. Little did he know that her video would go viral, thanks in part to Rochester Indymedia as well as video sharing sites such as Youtube. In fact, as a result of this video, not only is Rochester on a national spotlight, with continuous coverage on major news outlets including CNN, but an international one as well, as news outlets from as far away as Russia have covered this story.
Which is why I wasn't really surprised at what happened at that meeting I attended for Emily Good.
Not even 15 minutes into the meeting, it was interrupted by several Rochester cops wearing sunglasses and leather gloves, who had pulled up and were clearly not happy that their fellow officer's video of him falsely arresting an innocent woman had been seen all over the world! Then, in a clear show of "brotherhood" these thug cops retaliated against innocent citizens, by using a pink kids ruler to measure distances between car tires and the street curb and issuing tickets to several vehicles belonging to people who were attending this meeting (including mine). What were the tickets for? For being parked more than 12 inches from the curb. A video which I filmed of this whole incident: "DAVY V. EXPOSES ROCHESTER, N.Y. POLICE INTIMIDATION TACTICS" can be seen all over the internet, including my Youtube Channel: davyvtv. In this video several Rochester Police cars can be seen parked illegally, in the most disgusting example of the R.P.D.'s "Double Standard".
And speaking of that "Double Standard", when I arrived at City Hall to speak before City Council, Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard parked his official police vehicle illegally! When he got out of his car, I told him he was parked illegally. His response? He laughed and asked me if I had a ruler! I told him that I didn't have a ruler, but I had a camera. In the video, which can also be seen on my Youtube Channel: davyvtv, among several violations the Chief committed, was parking less than 15 feet from a fire hydrant. A violation which the average taxpayer (me or you) would not only be ticketed for, but our vehicles would have been towed! There it is again, that "Double standard". The Rochester Police Department, including the Chief himself, believe they are above the law!
Then, as if the evening couldn't get any more interesting, I did get to speak at City Council, well sort of... You see, just like Rochester Police Officer Mario Masic violated Emily Good's Civil rights... Well, Rochester City Council President Lovely Warren violated my First Amendment right to free speech, by ordering that my microphone be turned off before I was done talking. It's sad when an elected official denies a citizen his right to speak by turning off his microphone. I guess the truth hurts, and City Council President Lovely Warren didn't want to hear it. Apparently Rochester City Council does not believe in the First Amendment.