Monday, December 2, 2013

Despite Its History of Civil Rights Leaders Like Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, Rochester, NY Continues to be Known as a City Where Police Violate Citizens' Rights (Updated)

Teens arrested by Rochester Police officer
while waiting for bus.
By Davy V.

Updated Tuesday December 13, 2003 10:00 A.M.
Once again, just when I think the Rochester, NY Police department can't get any worse when it comes to violating innocent citizens' civil rights, they prove me wrong.
On Wednesday morning, November 27th, Edison High School students Raliek Reid, and Daequon Carelock, both 16, along with 17-year old Wan'Tauhjs Weathers, all three star players on the Edison Inventors basketball team, were waiting for a schoolbus in downtown Rochester, heading to a game.
They never made it.
That's because an over zealous Rochester Police officer arrested the teens.
For what?
For WWB.
Waiting While Black.
Or is it STB?
Standing While Black.
Of course, the Rochester, NY Police department, who has a long history of misconduct and corruption including several high profile controversial arrest videos in just the last couple of years alone, including the arrest of Emily Good, by Rochester Police officer Mario Masic, after Good recorded Masic conducting a racially profiled traffic stop of an African-American motorist, would never admit that their officers are trained to profile African-American citizens for WWB or SWB.
Instead they come up with a b.s. excuse like saying that the three young men were obstructing the flow of pedestrian traffic.
Even though they were standing on a public sidewalk.
Waiting for a bus.
Benny Warr
One-legged amputee
beaten by Rochester Police officers
while waiting for bus.
Reminds me of Benny Warr.
A disabled, African-American, one-legged amputee, who was also waiting for a bus when Rochester, NY Police officers Anthony Liberatore, Joseph Ferrigno, and Mitchell Stewart II pepper sprayed and beat him.
All because according to the officers, Warr ignored their commands to move from the sidewalk.
A public sidewalk.
As in Warr's case, the Rochester, NY Police officer who arrested the teens, claimed that they ignored his order to disperse.
From a public sidewalk.
When the teens tried to explain to the RPD officer that they weren't  loitering, but instead waiting for a bus, the RPD officer arrested them.
"We didn't do nothing," said Raliek Reid.
"We was just trying to go to our scrimmage."
Intetestingly, the Rochester Police report makes no mention of any obscene or foul language or any other sort of disorderly conduct.
"We was just waiting for our bus and he started arresting us," said Wan'Tauhjs Weathers.
According to the teens' coach, Jacob Scott, when he asked the RPD officer to let the teens go, the Rochester Police officer threatened him with arrest.
"He goes on to say, 'If you don't disperse, you're going to get booked as well,'" said Scott.
Scott, who is also employed by the Rochester City School District as a guidance counselor, adds, "I said, 'Sir, I'm the adult. I'm their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?'"
The Edison basketball coach says the incident was not only traumatic for the players who got arrested, but also for others who witnessed it.
"It's a catastrophe," said Coach Scott. 
"These young men were doing nothing wrong, nothing wrong."
"They did exactly what they were supposed to do and still they get arrested. I'm speaking to the officers with dignity ... and still and yet, they see me get treated like nothing."
The players' families had to post $200 bail in order to get their children out of jail for Thanksgiving. 
"They are not bad kids," said Crystal Chapman, one of the teens mother.
"They are awesome boys."
And to think, disgusting incidents like this, committed by those who take an oath to protect and serve, and instead abuse that oath by abusing and violating innocent students doing nothing wrong, is happening in a city with a rich history of civil rights leaders such as Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, who are both buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, just minutes away from downtown Rochester.
I wonder what Douglass and Anthony would say.
Shame on the Rochester, NY Police department.
Shame on Rochester, NY.


Charges against the three teens have been dropped.

A statement released Tuesday morning by Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley reads:

"After reviewing the facts associated with these arrests, we have decided to dismiss the charges in the interest of justice."

Click Play to watch video of Rochester, NY Police officers beating disabled man waiting for bus.

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