Mark Simmons, Rochester, NY Cop who Shot 13-Year Old Suicidal Girl, Promoted to Lieutenant

Published On November 11, 2012 | By Davy V. | Articles

By Davy V.

On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 Rochester, NY Police Sgt. Mark Simmons will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

Emails, texts and messages on facebook went out congratulating Simmons on his promotion.

And, once again the Rochester, NY Police department, and current RPD Chief James Sheppard, continue a long practiced ‘Good ol’ boys club’ way of rewarding problem officers with promotions.

While many Rochester, NY residents have extremely short-term memories, others don’t.

I would put myself in the latter category.

Suicide.

A very sensitive subject for me.

In 1993, my Dad Mario Vara committed suicide in his bedroom, while me and my mom were downstairs.

Contrary to what people say, that things get better with time, they don’t.

Not a day passes by when I don’t remember that day.

I can still hear the loud gunshot.

I often think what if anything I could have done to stop my Dad from doing what he did.

Which brings me to Mark Simmons.

On July 10, 2005, 13-year old LaShedica Mason was suicidal, when she locked herself up in the bathroom of her home on St. Jacob Street on Rochester’s eastside.

Her relatives called 911 for assistance.

Minutes later, Rochester Police officer Mark Simmons entered the home and as soon as he saw Mason holding a knife, he shot the 13 year old girl three times, including once in her abdomen.

As a result of her injuries, LaShedica’s gall bladder, as well as several feet of her intestines had to be removed during surgery.

Ironically, just days before the shooting, acting Rochester Police Chief Cedric Alexander had announced the creation of the Rochester Police Department’s Emotionally Disturbed Persons Response Team (EDPRT) a team specially trained to deal with despondent, suicidal, and emotionally unstable individuals.

In fact, the team was developed, specifically for people just like LaShedica.

So why then, was a suicidal teen shot multiple times by a trigger-happy cop?

Where was this crisis intervention team who were trained to deal with situations like this?

Nowhere to be found.

They were never deployed.

Instead, a trigger-happy young RPD cop named Mark Simmons went Rambo, opening fire and trying to kill a young, suicidal girl who needed help.

Yes.

Mark Simmons tried his best to kill young LaShedica.

Simmons shot the 13-year old in what police refer to as ‘center mass.’

It is that part of the body just below the neck and above the waist.

Police know that by shooting at this area of the body, the shots will most likely be fatal, and by shooting a young girl three times, Mark Simmons’ intentions were clear: Shoot to kill.

Not long after shooting LaShedica, Mark Simmons was promoted to the rank of Sgt., and, until recently, was Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard’s right hand man.

This latest promotion of Simmons by the RPD, will be the second of his approx. 9-year career with the department.

I often think of LaShedica.

I think of how bad one must feel to want to end one’s life, like my Dad did.

It has to be an unimaginable pain.

And then I think on top of how bad LaShedica was feeling, locked in that bathroom, holding a knife, contemplating ending her life, what she must have felt seeing RPD officer Mark Simmons, not there to help her, but instead trying his best to kill her himself.

I wonder if on Tuesday, in that ceremony when Rochester Police Sgt. Mark Simmons is promoted to Lieutenant, if he will remember LaShedica.

I wonder if he will remember, that the first time in his career that he had an opportunity to make a difference in a young suicidal girl’s life by helping her, that instead he tried to kill her.

 

Follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/davyvara

 

Like this Article? Share it!

About The Author

Davy V. is a Cuban-American Filmmaker, Video Producer, Photographer and Freelance Writer, best known for using the power of video and film to expose Police Brutality, Corruption and Misconduct. The son of the late Mario Vara, a community activist who for years fought against Police Brutality and Misconduct in Rochester, New York, Davy V. got his start in Television and Video by tagging along and working camera for his father's cable access television show, "La Voz Del Pueblo" (The Voice of The People). Davy V. later went on to produce and host "KEEP IT ON THE REEL", a cable access TV show with a mix of Hip Hop as well as issues affecting African-Americans and Latinos in Rochester, NY, such as Police Brutality and Misconduct. Some guests on the show included Treach, KayGee and Vinnie of Naughty by Nature, Method Man, Funkdoobiest, Da Youngstas, and the Rottin' Razkals. Davy V. won the U.S. ACM Video Festival Award for his Documentary, "R.P.D. EXPOSED!" about the Rochester, New York Police Department and their long history of misconduct, corruption and unnecessary killings of unarmed innocent citizens. "R.P.D. EXPOSED!" and Davy V.'s follow up, "R.P.D.: Badges of DISHONOR, CORRUPTION and MURDER!" were both screened at the National Hip Hop Political Convention at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Davy V.'s work has been featured in publications such as THE SOURCE Hip Hop Magazine, URBAN AMERICA Magazine, The Ave. Magazine, Insider Magazine, La Voz Newspaper, Minority Reporter Newspaper, CNY LATINO Newspaper, DOWN Magazine, as well as on television news stations, and programs such as CNN and Inside Edition. In addition to his freelance writing, Davy V. also writes a monthly Op/Ed Column for LA VOZ Magazine and Minority Reporter Newspaper. In June 2012, Davy V. joined Cop Block as a regular contributor.
  • Common Sense

    almost immediately after entering the house, she rushed at the cop, and her sister, armed with a deadly weapon, and was hit in the finger, the arm, and the gut.

    The EDP team…

    “..Simmons never had a chance to make that assessment, Alexander said. Further, there was no time to even negotiate with Lashedica, he said.

    Nor was Simmons able to use a less-than-lethal weapon such as the M26 Taser, which delivers a debilitating electric shock.

    Simmons is not assigned to carry a Taser and is not trained to use one…”

    “Mayor William A. Johnson Jr., who joined the news conference Monday, said that’s exactly the kind of response police provide the vast majority of the time they encounter people. The shooting was a tragic exception to the normal interaction between police and emotionally disturbed people.

    Johnson said he has personally read the police reports and believes there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the shooting. He noted that Simmons and Lashedica are both African American, so there is no racial component to the shooting. Lashedica has had a history of depression and was in a high state of emotional distress at the time of the shooting, he said.”

  • DKSuddeth

    can’t believe a single word of police reports.

  • John Q Public

    DK, yet you believe everything posted on this site?

  • Chris Mallory

    At least Davie didn’t pull his usual racial crap. Now, if he could learn that shooting “center of mass” is what anyone trained to use a firearm is trained to do, he might become a half way decent reporter.

  • Darick

    These cops are as fucked up as this city. They can all kiss my ass.

  • LDX

    Bullet proof vest, martial arts trained, handcuffs, brawny, afraid of 13 year old emotionally unstable female…SHOULDN’T BE AN ARMED POLICE OFFICER.

    Unarmed security, maybe. Locked up for a couple of decades, certainly. Gauntlet by neighborhood parents, definitely.

    We’re officially martial law with S.1867.1021, so do what you are told, or they can perform summary execution curbside unfettered by your civil rights.

    This was a little gift from Obama ahead of your having reelected him for a second term.

  • certain

    JQP, you always believe everything cops say? Question goes both ways.

  • DKSuddeth

    JQP, maybe you should follow some of my posts more closely before making yourself look ignorant.

  • underoath

    SING THE GOSPEL DAVY, SING IT!

    Down with the po-lice…..

    ….what a crock of shit.

  • t.

    Years ago he lived through an attack by a suicidal, knife wielding person. And know he gets promoted. Congradulations LT.

  • BuckNut

    Davy V. Your father was a coward who took the easy way out. Go cry a river to someone else. Nobody cares that suicide is a sensitive subject to you. Anyone who takes his or her own life is self centered and selfish including your father. The only way his action could be forgiven in my eyes is if he iced you before offing himself. Oh the pain of life is unbearable. Simmons should have been promoted immediately after shooting poor LaCretia. He just saved all the taxpayers of Rochester years of supporting LaFawnda and her 12 future kids!! And Davy V. You know what they say…like father like son!!!

  • LD

    This site needs to be cleaned up. Introduce topic objectively. Responses limited to 75 words and on topic only. Off topic takes license which is not protected by the 1st amendment, although pundits may be direct unfettered at political figures due to power equality, and this is recognized by process of law.

    This does not apply to the children of such individuals who may in fact sue you for making off color remarks which attack their relationships with their parents.

    One error this site recently made was running a story on Bulletinman’s alleged shooting by HP. Reality is there were never any images to confirm this event actually took place, nor were there hospital records to confirm this individual was actually treated at for life threatening injuries.

    Also, this individual has no explanation for why his organization is identified with Bulle with additive labels Tin and Man, hence The Bulle Tin Man. Alternative interpretation of this media identity is this is a darker feature of this entities preoccupation with the occult in connection with Prison Planet. Bulle Tin Man is a heartless, cold person that promises to serve a humanitarian interest in connection with a foreign entity, this view he being unwilling to talk about claiming to know nothing about why his property is lined up perfectly on Bulle. Are you people really this stupid?

    For some reason, one of this individual’s cronies made an appearance here during his alleged hospitalization, although the hospital has no record of his actually having been there, and the Bulle Tin Man hasn’t confirmed this with images since his alleged release.

    Think before you post this stuff. There are some valid issues to be dealt with, but THIS individual appears to be networking a scheme that maybe you don’t want to promote. If he’s involved in kidnapping, you’re going to look kind of stupid holding the bag for this fellow.

    It really is that critical at this point to understand just what this fellow is up to besides his philanthropic promotional. In the occult, philanthropy is virtually ALWAYS connected to human trafficking and kidnapping for torture.

    If you don’t understand this, close your site, please.

  • Candi

    My husband was murdered by a cop and they (the county and the state police) LAUGH at me when I ask about our property and why they allowed strangers and random people in and out of our home without my permission. He may have been suicidal, but the cop had ‘blood lust’ in his eyes while he STALKED our property. And still they laugh…

  • BuckNut

    Looks like you’ll be the only one left on this site LD…lol.

  • BuckNut

    Murder? Blood lust? Stalked? Now im laughing..lol

  • BuckNut

    Murder? Blood lust? Stalked? Now im chuckling. Lol

  • LD

    I didn’t think that would get posted. This site’s got HUGE potential, but the editor has to learn to see situations through both sides of the lens, Candi, for example.

    Here’s a way to get a little more objective with this situation. Let’s begin by restating the problem.

    “My husband was killed by a police officer during a suicide intervention that, in my opinion, his death was promoted rather than prevented, by the police officer that interacted with him during this horrible event. The individual responsible for this shooting alleged to have been in danger, which in this state of mind, he responded by killing my husband to allegedly self-protect.”

    Now let’s line up on the survivor.

    Candi, you’re description of this event is not providing any details, which is normal for the circumstances. Your husband’s death is unfortunate.

    Since someone called the police to intervene, the first work here is to establish an understanding that police carry weapons to protect themselves while doing their jobs. They are neutral on judgement in a given situation except to make a preemptive attempt to enforce the law or keep the peace. they are not there to prevent suicides, which I don’t think people understand this. Domestic situations are among the most dangerous they have to encounter, and suicides can magnify this considerably.

    With this in mind, there are rogue police who operate on a personal agenda what empowerment comes not from their job but from a desire to hurt others. On the whole, police tend to be pretty good people. On the other hand, there is another type of individual that is not representative of the law, and such likewise do in fact cross boundaries, but not often.

    There’s an escalation continuum which you can use to judge a situation good or bad on the officer’s part. A poorly trained officer will present PDA. That’s the first warning there’s a character issue with this fellow. It’s the same thing with a potential arrest. They tend to be impulsive and do not think clearly in forming judgement, which can be disastrous for an otherwise tame situation.

    I once saw a police officer get shot at and walk up to the perp and disarm him with even first putting handcuffs on him. It goes both ways. I won’t go into this here, but without knowing much about what happened to your husband it is nonetheless critical for you to understand that you need counseling yourself for clarification on your loss. You’re a walking talking PTSD issue, and this needs to be addressed for your own health. If you haven’t already done this, you should do this ASAP so you don’t internalize this issue incorrectly.

    In a crisis, we tend to see situations though the color of our emotions, which this has the potential to further derail our lives. For an example of what a bad cop looks like, take a look at the Kelly Thomas rendition and compare this to your husband’s situation.

    Also, after counseling on this issue, if you still believe this was a wrongful death, get an attorney and ask for an investigation. If you need help with either, ask.

    Let’s find out what happened, and the best place to start is the police report, but ONLY as a point of reference. There’s what YOU saw happen, too. You should be able to get a press release. Start there, then go for the report. If you can’t get that, go to an attorney, but you should be concurrently seeing a therapist so you can be objective with the complaint procedure.

    Remember to keep the perspective of two sides of the lens.

  • Candi

    Well, I did not realize this was a ‘PRO cop get away with murder’ site & thank you officer bucknut for laughing at our tragedy! Murder & blood lust were words USED BY OUR NEIGHBORS when I finally got back home to this mess. I was out of state at the time at my dad’s funeral. Way to be sympathetic to VICTIMS of cops.
    btw: the murderer has a history of intimidating teenagers… our daughter’s friend can attest to that.
    If you are in need of more fodder to laugh at: Our daughter is suicidal, doing poorly in college and I am homeless now. Yuk it up bucknut! pfft

  • BuckNut

    Wait for it…wait for it…boo hoo hoo…my heart is broken…tears are streaming from my eyes…no..I do not have sympathy for you…your daughter or your husband…and I definitely don’t take credence to a story from someone who wasn’t even there…your neighbors are your source? Well I bet if you ask the officers on scene for their account the story is going to be alot different…to call someone a murderer, thief and stalker are serious accusations with no proof and to do so is irresponsible on your part. So in closing. Yuck yuck yuck yuck

  • LD

    re “Our daughter is suicidal, doing poorly in college and I am homeless now.”

    You are wasting your time talking to BN. This needs professional care. If your daughter’s making an effort in college, she’s got the ability and need to graduate. You, too, possess the same psychological resources if you reach out to the right people. People who suffer from PTSD naturally attract to dysfunctional relationships and have trouble concentrating. They aren’t necessarily bad people themselves, but they have internalized life threatening events in contravention of reality.

    If this individual is even real, BN is baiting you, and the moderator allowing this to happen is viewing this as entertainment. Some sites do this to attract bloggers. Take my advise and turn this around to a professional, and in this case, drop this site. There are problems here which seem to loft my earlier perception there is not so much an interest in informing the public as in entertaining themselves on the little battles that surge between bloggers, which is sadistic.

  • BuckNut

    Hey LD im as real as you. This whole thing started and the reason for this website, if you haven’t noticed, is to cop bash. If you want to play Dr Phil find another site. Candi unfairly calling that officer a murderer, thief and stalker is the real crime. Especially since she has no first hand knowledge of the events other than “neighbors.” I have yet to meet a law enforcement officer, while preparing for duty say, “I think this a good shift for me to go out and kill someone.” It is absolutely absurd. If you want to coddle these individuals be my guest. Invite her and her daughter over and lay them on your couch and go over daddy issues. With her idiotic comments she doesn’t deserve nor will she ever receive the slightest ounce of sympathy from me. REAL ENOUGH?

  • BuckNut

    And P.S. Boy Genius. Of course the moderators allow this. Just like you said..IT ATTRACTS BLOGGERS! Did it take your PHD to figure that out all by your lonesome? If it did I’d demand my money back!

  • LD

    @BN I don’t do family sessions. I do advise on three principles: 1) reject all acts of aggression, 2) practice restraint and 3) do war only as a last resort. You seem to be invested in all three.

    I would never want to be on the receiving end of someone ire in such a crisis, and I don’t decide other people’s reality. This site does come across as you say and for this reason it aught to be shut down, but it won’t, because this exploits human emotion for entertainment, which isn’t much different than a rogue cop who gets a kick out of torturing people.

    It’s hard to talk intelligently to BPB for the simple reason that such individuals are wired for trouble out of the gate, you for example. It’s a state of mind well practiced on charm offense and the double bind, which brings us back to you, again.

    Tell me about your relationship with your mother, pervert…

  • BuckNut

    @LD. Its a shame you don’t do family sessions. It appears you’ve missed your calling. We’ll deal with that a bit later.

    I do my job on three principles. 1) Not everyone I come into contact with is evil and needs a citation or needs to go to jail. 2) I am firm but fair. 3) If there is a need for physical contact of any kind you better believe there is a good reason. I don’t get paid to fight. If that was the case I would have been a boxer. I do my job without bias or prejudice.

    By you saying that you would never want to come across me and my ire suggests a few things. One you are either a criminal with intent on hurting me or mentally disturbed with intent on hurting me. In either case you are right. You wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end because one thing is certain. I win. You can spin that anyway you would like. As I stated before I don’t get paid to fight and im going home.

    It also shows your mentality by comparing this website to a rogue cop torturing people. To say they are the same ia absolutely assinine (yes I spelled it with two “S’s because that’s what you are since you want to revert to name calling. Na na) I would say that’s like comparing apples to oranges but the two aren’t even in the same food group.

    And finally smarty pants. It seems to me you’re the pervert here. To take something non sexual and turn it into that? Id say you’re the one with the issues. Im sure there are websites out there that cater specifically to what you have in mind my friend.

  • BuckNut

    And btw LD…Heed your own advice you hypocrite. “Responses limited to 75 words and ON TOPIC ONLY” first amendment equality unfettered by legal figures under habeus corpus shall have due process with liberty and justice for all. Amen

  • Candi

    LD: thanks for the info, I’m not worried about buckwheat here… I’ve been dealing with other corrupt ‘cops’ for months now. Birds of a feather stick together. I would not at all be surprised if this troll is 1 of the ‘rocket scientists’ I am up against in my state.

  • BuckNut

    Ouch…Buckwheat? Troll? “Rocket scientist”? And I seriously doubt you’re up against me. I don’t work in the State of Denial. Not my jurisdiction. Sorry.

  • Centurion

    @ t bag and Commondicksense, The fake servant of the public should not have been there to begin with. If a cop came to my door today I will open the door with an M4 pointed right at him and instruct him he is on private property you better leave or get dropped . Just like what happened to that imposter gungho police chief in NH who got his own people hurt because his violation on private property rights. Again common your an uneducated fake wanna be public servant who calls himself a cop. Cyber bully who uses distorted facts and half truths to make yourself feel better when you wake up after beating your wife all night. I know your type your the type of cop that thinks he is above the law so when you commit a crime wearing a badge, you get a medal from your very conflict of interest small town Police but pals who you grew up with and call your sketchball ass a hero. When you die on duty from a real Patriot after serving a false warrant wriiten from a fake Judge I will take a dump on your coffin. You like most cops are Federal Fugitives from justice who should get charged for treason and be put to death. That goes for the cop ass licker t as well .

  • http://yahoo Larry

    Here in Arizona that would be called suicide by cop. Even if the person who got shot didn’t even think of it that way.

    It is a good thing that it wasn’t out side and there were 10 cops. They all would have fired at her. Dam that sounds just like some thing that has happend more than once.

  • distant

    @Bucknut “Davy V. Your father was a coward who took the easy way out. Go cry a river to someone else. Nobody cares that suicide is a sensitive subject to you. Anyone who takes his or her own life is self centered and selfish including your father. The only way his action could be forgiven in my eyes is if he iced you before offing himself”

    You’re a peace of garbage human being,Call your racist pos parents and tell them they failed. Enjoy your existence, I smile knowing you will die one day.

  • BuckNut

    @distant

    Smile away. Last time I checked we are all going to die…lol. unless of course you found the fountain of youth. And in that case congrats.

    Btw. Im rubber and you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you…lmao

    And that guy is still a coward!!! Lmao

  • BuckNut

    And one more thing. Its “piece” of garbage. Not “peace” of garbage. Go tell that public education english teacher he failed you…lmao

  • The One

    If a police officer does not know how to disarm a 13 year old GIRL with a knife, then he should not be a police officer. Police academies and other police training is available to teach police officers how to disarm a 13 year old GIRL with a knife. Look up knife disarming even on youtube you fascist ‘officers’.

    Even the white belts at the martial arts school where I train could have disarmed that 13 year old girl effortlessly. Police officers should train with shock knives instead of shooting 13 year old girls.

  • Eli Grey

    Cops like Bucknut and his butt buddies get off on trolling sites like this and pissing people off, that gets his dick hard enough to stuff his buddy in his pooper. The man is obviously making up for a lack of something somewhere. I bet the only time he draws his service weapon is to intimidate unarmed women and children, cause he’s so “tough”. It’s really easy to be a hard ass cop in a soft ass city like Cleveland, but not anywhere where there’s real “killers”. I look forward to the headline “another cop killed in the line of duty” everytime I see it it brings a huge smile to my face. can’t wait till it’s you BuckNut

  • wiguy

    Wow you have a big day ahead of you buck.

  • Jim

    If it hasn’t been pointed out before…too many comments to read all of them…, I’ll do so now. As a gun guy and also not a fan of the police state I need to point out that shooting center mass has nothing to do with intent to cause death. It is tactically the best place to shoot someone to end an encounter quickly and it works just as well for us civilians.

  • The One

    Look up “Tueller Inosanto 21 foot rule’ on youtube, you’ll see a police training video in which police are trained thus: If an opponent with a knife is running towards you DO NOT reach for your pistol for the officer’s own safety, the officer is SUPPOSED TO BE TRAINED to try and grab the knife-hand instead of trying to shoot the suspect.

    This is also for the officer’s own safety. Even a white belt at any Filipino martial arts school would likely be able to safely disarm a 13 year old girl with a knife.

    Get real, there really is no viable excuse for a police officer shooting a 13 year old girl with a knife. Police should be trained in verbal deescalation of conflict as well as simple disarming of suspects. Enough said.

    Peace,

    O
    N
    E

  • Genious Davy V

    Hey Davy, at least we have insight as to why your father committed suicide. He was obviously ashamed of what he did to you and was afraid that the police had found out. Don’t blame the police for what he did to you. Blame him!!

  • Genious Davy V

    By the way, congrats Lt. Simmons.

  • The One

    Didn’t Officer Simmons get the call over the radio first that he was about to confront a 13 year old GIRL with a knife? That being the case, while he was driving to the scene he knew that he would have to try and disarm her.

    It is more safe to try and disarm a knife wielder than to try and shoot the knife wielder. Distance and timing is everything. Anything within 21 feet and police are trained to FIRST try and grab the knife hand, everything other tactic is too dangerous. Approximately the same time it takes to grab for your sidearm, the knife wielder is already closing the distance 21 feet in 1.5 seconds (look up Inosanto 21 foot rule on you tube to see POLICE TRAINING VIDEOS proving this) …but this particular officer knew from the radio that he was not going against a 200 pound man with a knife, he was going against a 13 year old GIRL. The officer in my opinion used excessive force in this case, because he knew before he was even at the scene that he was going against a 13 year old GIRL.

  • http://teresapelka.com Teresa Pelka

    I comprehend that the police force would be expected ‘to do something’. When a cat climbs a tree and can’t get down, you call the fire brigade. The police ‘should do something’ if a deranged human holds a potentially lethal weapon.

    I am not a member of any police force. I just happened to be faced with unrealistic expectations myself.

    The girl was holding a weapon.

  • Melinda

    BuckNut please do the world a favor and either find a good therapist so you can confront whatever your problem is that mocking people in pain and need makes you feel momentary happiness, joy, superiority and relief or just try to do the opposite. Try respect, kindness, and compassion. These are the deeds and feelings that bring a healthy mind happiness, joy, and relief. In the meantime, stop your vicious attacks, be they in person, by phone, text, or internet, and take a moment to meditate and contemplate why such revolting and obnoxious behavior makes you feel good.