Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rochester, NY Police officer Kenneth Pinckney; An Officer and a Gentleman

Rochester, NY Police officer Kenneth Pinckney

By Davy V.

What is it about getting older that makes us miss our childhood so much?

For me, one of the things I miss about my childhood is, well, the innocence of being a child.

Everything was just so carefree.

And fun.

I miss drinking 25 cent huggie juices and cracking jokes with my friends after a game of kickball or 2 on 2 touch football in the church parking lot next to my Child Street home in Rochester, NY

I miss my dad giving me a couple of dollars and me running to the corner store to spend it all on Now & Later packs, Lemon Heads and penny candy.

And believe it or not, I actually miss my curfew notice, which usually came by way of my mom calling my name from the front porch, "Davy!", as soon as the streetlights came on.

That was my curfew.

The street lights.


Things have changed.

I mean do kids even have curfews anymore?

And one of the things I miss so much about my childhood is when Rochester, NY Police officer Ron Fontaine would see me sitting on my porch, and he would stop his cruiser in front of my house, for no other reason than just to say hi.

I thought that was so cool.

As cool as when "Officer Friendly" visited my second grade class at Jonathan Child School #21.

But all that changed in June of 1986, when Rochester, NY Police officers Randall "Rambo" Benjamin and Mark Mariano kicked in the front door to my family's home at 184 Child Street, terrorizing me, my brother, my mother, and my father at gunpoint, threatened to shoot our family dog, and illegally searched our home without a warrant, overturning mattress, dresser drawers, and destroying our personal belongings, including my baseball trophies.

It was a very rude awakening.

The realization that the people who as a child I was taught were the "Good guys", were not.

A very rude awakening indeed.

But even still, I find myself telling my children that there are good police officers, even though everyday it becomes harder and harder for me to actually believe that.

Which is why I was happy to be with my son Wednesday evening when I witnessed something which reminded me of that innocence from my childhood.

And of the trust I had for police officers, before it was forever shattered.

Enter Rochester, NY Police officer Kenneth Pinckney.

As I came to a red light at the intersection of W. Main and Broad Streets entering downtown Rochester, I noticed a Rochester Police officer with a tire iron in hand, hunched down, changing an elderly woman's flat tire in a parking lot.

Sitting inside the car, was an elderly wheelchair bound gentleman.

I turned around and pulled into the lot, and took the photos you see below.

I then approached officer Pinckney, extended my hand, and introduced myself.

Officer Pinckney seemed surprised as soon as he saw me, but he shook my hand.

I told him it was cool.

I explained to him that despite my work, and the fact that I go hard at exposing his police department's dark side, I'm just as eager to show a positive side.

Officer Pinckney smiled.

Seeing beads of sweat on officer Pinckney's forehead, I could tell he had been working hard changing the elderly woman's flat tire.

I thanked officer Pinckney for reminding me of my childhood.

And of "Officer Friendly."

He smiled.

And posed for a photo.

Thank you again, Rochester, NY Police officer Kenneth Pinckney.

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