Rochester, NY Police officer Antonio Gonzalez, one of two RPD officers who Shot Man being Evicted, has a History of Shooting and Making Fun of Mentally ill People

Published On January 30, 2013 | By Davy V. | Articles

By Davy V.

One of two Rochester, NY Police officers who shot a man being evicted from his apartment for owing $2,080 in back rent, has a history of ridiculing, and shooting mentally ill individuals, even killing a Rochester man just last year.

On Tuesday, Antonio Gonzalez (pictured to the right) and officer James Ott shot Timothy Powell, when at first they said Powell was armed with a bottle of bleach.

Since the incident, in order to spin their story and justify shooting Powell, Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard now says Powell also had a knife, something the RPD had made NO mention of.

Rochester, NY Police officers had accompanied Court Marshal Joseph Polizzi to evict Powell from a Volunteers of America housing complex.

Powell was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Rochester, NY Police officer Antonio Gonzalez has a history of being a trigger-happy cop.

He also has a history of showing he has a problem dealing with the mentally ill.

On June 21, 2012, Rochester, NY Police officer Antonio Gonzalez, was one of 7 officers who opened fire on Israel ‘Izzy’ Andino, a mentally ill young man, on his 20th birthday.

Andino was holding a BB rifle and despite RPD officers having several opportunities to subdue him without using deadly force, Gonzalez and 6 officers all shot Andino in unison, in what was described by neighbors as a firing squad execution.

Andino was hit at least 11 times.

Bullets also hit several houses where young children were sleeping.

Other bullets penetrated vehicles parked in a driveway.

Andino’s body was left uncovered on the sidewalk for hours, while several RPD officers joked about the shooting.

Just as Tuesday’s incident, Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard justified Andino’s execution.

In 2009, Rochester, NY Police officer Antonio Gonzalez made a video which he posted on he Internet titled “Name that Crackhead!”, in which Gonzalez along with other RPD officers make fun of a mentally ill man who is seen on the video dressed in a martial arts uniform.

At one point in the video, RPD officers are heard singing the song “Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting”, as the man performs some martial arts moves.

Later, after Gonzalez posted the “Name that Crackhead!” video on the internet, Rochester, NY Police officers Josue Traverzo and Luis Hernandez, posted comments as to the man’s whereabouts.

One comment, left by RPD officer Josue Traverzo reads: “Hint, can find him at 580 Jeff,” referring to Jefferson Ave., on Rochester’s west side.

Another Rochester, NY Police officer who uses tax payer dollars to ride around and ridicule innocent Rochester citizens, is officer Nelson Soto, who took the photo to the right from within his warm police cruiser, and found the need to ridicule a couple of handicapped persons struggling with their motorized scooters through snow covered streets.

Soto took the photo, uploaded it on the Internet, and titled it “4-Wheel Drive Wheelchairs.”

As an activist exposing police misconduct and corruption for the past 17 years, I have always said that there are certain ‘problem officers’ who should not be on the Rochester, NY Police department.

More than Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard or Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards care to admit in public.

Officers like Antonio Gonzalez, and Nelson Soto.

After all, what kind of an officer, who has sworn to an oath to ‘serve and protect’ and to do his or her job ethically, would ridicule a mentally ill person by recording them then posting the video on the internet for laughs?

What kind of police officer would see two disabled persons struggling in winter and take a photo, making fun of them?

Are these officers we want on Rochester’s streets interacting with the mentally ill and the disabled?

Chief Sheppard, where in the Rochester, NY Police department’s Code of Ethics does it say that it is ok to make fun of the mentally ill and disabled, instead of helping them?

Is this what you instruct your officers to do?

 

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Updated story link:  http://www.copblock.org/27177/rochester-ny-police-change-their-story-after-officers-shoot-man-being-evicted-from-his-apartment/

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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.
  • Greg

    Police officers are just that – law enforcement. They are NOT psychologists or psychiatrists, nor should they be expected to be. If someone poses a threat to them with a weapon, they are justified in shooting, regardless of whether the person is mentally ill or not. Perhaps more people would pay attention to the issue of police brutality, if such groups such as yourselves would recognize that not all officer involved shootings are brutality. It’s hard to pay attention to a group that constantly is crying wolf.

  • Keith

    Greg, your post is absolutely why people on here react the way they do. You say, without any other description, that if someone has a weapon, the cops have a right to shoot and kill. This is what pisses everyone off. No they do not. As a former military man, twice over, people that handle weapons are trained in when and when not to use deadly force. Just because someone has a weapon, does not give the right to kill. A small skinny tree twig can be used as a weapon, but i’m sure you would find that ok to shoot and kill someone holding that. Use common sense for god sakes, that is all we ask.

  • 1605

    Then go to PoliceOne and hang out with similar minds…

    What does it mean to “pose a threat”? What about the threat posed by the police? What about police escalation of non-violent situations?

    People who think violence is justifiable look for reasons to be violent. I’ll bet I could subdue 99% of these threats without killing a person.

  • Dan Sayers

    I disagree. I carry a weapon every day, often in plain sight. Is this an invitation to execute me? You don’t need to be a psychologist to be able to differentiate between having a knife and making an aggressive motion with a knife. However, one would have to be mentally unstable to view everybody as a threat, a requisite for seeing somebody with a knife and shooting them.

    You’d also have to be dishonest in the extreme to make up the presence of a knife after the fact in order to get away with killing another human being. No badge + shoot a guy with a bottle of bleach = imprisonment during lengthy trial process that will cost lots of money and ultimately your long term freedom. Badge + shoot a guy with a bottle of bleach = police chief will lie for the sake of you being able to get away with it with no consequences save for a bit of scorn for the few people with an open mind enough to understand that some badge wearers aren’t innocent or helpful at all.

    Don’t get me wrong. If somebody wanted to harm you and they had a bottle of bleach, they could seriously harm you. Even kill you. It IS conceivable that a person could be involved in a justified shooting of a person with only a bottle of bleach. Again, it would require an actual hostile action on the part of the person with the bleach. Instead of saying that, they did what liars often do and overplayed their hand, making their deceit painfully evident. IF the person had a knife and IF they were using it in a way that justified shooting them out of self-defense, it would be the first thing out of the shooter’s mouth, badge or not.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    As greg pointed out above, virtually all law enforcement display a weapon, and thus represent a threat. We must also understand the fact that law enforcement personnel are 236% more likely to rape, and that the majority of the victims of rape by law enforcement are minor children. This, according to FBI crime statistics.

    We, as citizens, are NOT psychologists or psychiatrists, nor should we be expected to be. So we are all advised to respond appropriately when police approach our wives and daughters. This may best be done by verbally warning our family members, and all those in the area, that a violent rapist has appeared, and everyone is advised to evacuate their loved ones immediately.

    Responding to a threat, in this case ultra-violent child rapist police officers, in such a manner is logical and prudent. Perhaps more people would pay attention to proclivities of police officers, we would have far fewer sexual predators hiding behind badges, wolves in sheeps clothing, as it were.

  • steve

    fuck you greg just go to youtube and type in police brutality , then i guess youll think its all fake . there are litterally thousands of flicks showing cops being verbally and brutally abusive. if you dont like what you hear or see on cop block too badd. if your a cop you know its real if your not then wake up. this is what copblock is about bringing the light to the peoples eyes. yes it is your right to make your opinion we are in america.

  • t.

    So you guys don’t care the “voluntarism” failed? This guy could have avoided all of it. Pay the rent you agreed to. When you don’t, and get kicked out, go. But he didn’t do that. Somehow this helpless man managed to injury 3 officers….must have been really helpless.

    Yet another Davy V. miss. You guys fell for it. Sad.

  • yeah okay

    That andino guy blasted a shotgun slug at gonzalez. of course thjey had to shoot back. this other guy had knives and bleach attacking them… of course they had to shoot back. get a life people.

  • slappy

    What a bunch of BS. Trying to slam a officer claiming he makes fun of homeless people or just shooting homeless people. The officer did his job. If he didn’t’ he wouldn’t’ be here. Grow up.

  • Common Sense

    Davy V has moved from dogs to the homeless.

    Speaking of rent, month’s at an end, did you get enough donations Davy?

  • Common Sense

    Glen=liar

  • BluEyeDevil

    Greg,
    First, the guy was holding a bottle of bleach, doesn’t even say in a threatening manner, just says “armed” for what ever that means. But more disturbing, the chief lies to the public, changes the story and says it was a “knife” now. And shame on you to say no one takes us seriously or pays attention to us. We got your attention and many other cops attentions. You are a hypocrite just like the rest of the idiots that call themselves police. Man, you made yourself look stupid. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing when you got nothing to say. Go shoot yourself dumb fuck. As for paying attention to police brutality, just google the words and literally millions of stories and videos of police brutality pop up. Again you look stupid bro……
    T.,
    Not paying your rent has nothing to do with a cop shooting another person and lying about it.

  • BluEyeDevil

    COMMON SENSE=HYPOCRITE
    HOWS YOUR MOM BUDDY, LOL.

  • BluEyeDevil

    JUST IN:

    A Kaufman County prosecutor was shot dead outside the courthouse Thursday, spurring a complete lockdown of the grounds and an active search for the two shooters.

    Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Pat Laney said the suspects assaulted the prosecutor on his way in to court and shot him multiple times at about 8:50 a.m. They then fled the scene. The courthouse was locked down and later closed for the day.

    The prosecutor’s name has not been released because his family has not been notified.

    During a press conference, Sheriff David Burns and Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said the victim was heading to misdemeanor court when he was assaulted and gunned down. Investigators are combing through his case load to find any suspects who may have held a grudge.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety sent out an alert for troopers to be on lookout for a silver “older model” Ford Taurus. According to the alert, the two suspects are wearing all black and at least one is in a tactical vest. DPS choppers are flying low over the treeline in north Kaufman.

    Kaufman Independent School District Superintendent Todd Williams said all schools in the district are also locked down as authorities search for the shooters.

    The victim was to a hospital. In an email sent to staff, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the victim was a prosecutor and was fatally shot.

    Below is the entire email sent by the Dallas County DA:

    “This message is not intended to scare anyone but please be advised. A Kaufman County prosecutor was fatally shot a few minutes ago outside the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. Two masked gunman are the suspects. They have not been apprehended yet.

    Please be aware of your surroundings when leaving the building for your safety. This is probably a isolated incident but until further notice if you plan to work past dark today please be careful and ask security for assistance escorting you to your vehicles if needed. I will keep you informed as to the arrest of the suspects when i am notified. Don’t panic but please be aware of your environment when leaving the building.”

    Employees at businesses nearby say they’ve seen heavy police activity and heard reports of the shooting. Cathy Coulson, a real estate agent at Re/Max across from the courthouse, said she was not at work when the shooting happened, but reported seeing police helicopters searching overhead.

    “I didn’t hear anything, I came into my office right after it happened, but I talked to one of my clients that’s two blocks behind us and he said that he heard it,” Coulson said, adding that she’s seen police walking the streets. “They don’t have time to come tell us to lock down, we have enough sense to do that; we’ve seen them going around and the helicopters.”

    Tonya Ratcliff, a clerk at The Kaufman County Tax Office located to the right of the courthouse, said officers came inside and asked them to lock their doors.

    We’ll have more information as we learn it.

    NICE~!!!!!
    Told you copsuckers that this type of shit is going to happen with more frequency, LOL. It is called JUSTICE. In true solidarity with COMMON SENSE, I EXONERATE THESE TWO FINE CITIZEN FOR SHOOTING A GANG MEMBER IN A SUIT. LOL………

  • 585

    Davy’s Izzy stories get better and better with each telling. Remember, Davy, never let the facts get in the way of a good story!

  • Common Sense

    She’s in need of your talent again, as is Old Lady Fitzpatrick. Wow, I can say, I know many would say that what your doing is pathetic, but you’re quite the hero at Shady Oaks Retirement Community. You’re like a pizza delivery person, but instead of pizza, you deliver oral sex to the elderly.

  • Common Sense

    I’m sure you can write them letters while they are doing 40 years to life in a Texas prison. Homicides that involve prosecutors or cops have a clearance rate of about 93%.

    In the end, the suspects will probably take their own lives. Its unlikely they will go ‘toe to toe’ with Texas DPS or the Rangers. And if they do, they’ll make them heroes.

    Time will tell.

  • Tasha

    If someone could please assist me. The person who was shot was my uncle. I live out of state and would like any assistance with pertaining a good lawyer for him. I have talked to several lawyers in the area but I would really like recommnedations from the locals. I am asking for any assistance. Thanks

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    POLICE OFFICER RAPES A THREE MONTH OLD INFANT AND A ONE YEAR OLD CHILD!

    When you see common sense, t., underoath, psosgt and all the other shills spew their boot-licking propaganda here on Cop

    Block, remember, THIS IS WHAT THEY STAND FOR, AND THIS IS WHAT THEY DEFEND!

    Wichita KS police officer Officer Joseph T. McGill, 28, was convicted today of committing a sexual act on a 3-month-old

    child and a 1-year-old child. Officer McGill pleaded guilty in January 2012 in an unrelated case to sexual battery while

    on duty as a police officer and was sentenced to three years probation. Those charges stemmed from separate incidents in

    November 2010 and February 2011. The judge set sentencing for March 1:
    http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/24/2649372/former-police-officer-convicted.html

  • Aaron

    @BlueEyed: What do you call a dozen lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start!

    Thank you! I’ll be here all week…

  • shawn

    @blue

    “T.,
    Not paying your rent has nothing to do with a cop shooting another person and lying about it.”

    Cops like to redirect the blame for a cops actions. Common once even blamed a woman for how she dressed to excuse an officer’s sexual assault.

    When the guy died because they fed him food with dairy, he was responsible simply for getting arrested. They had no responsibility at all for ignoring physical distress.

    The cops refuse to understand that they are and should be responsible for their choices. We each control only our own choices. If we make a choice, we are responsible for that alone. It does not change the cop’s responsibility for their choice

  • shawn

    @Greg

    “If someone poses a threat to them with a weapon, they are justified in shooting, regardless of whether the person is mentally ill or not.”

    Cops see everything as a threat. They see a weapon and assume it is meant to harm them. Even in your own home with an armed robber. Happened recently were a cop killed the home owner. Cop saw a man with a gun, shot himself, and fired. Never occurred to him it might be an innocent home owner defending his family.

    As was asked,define “posses a threat”

  • Common Sense

    @Shawn

    Not really. If the police were that way, then anyone they encounter that’s OC would be shot upon sight.

    Additionally, Saffioti passing was tragic, but after a 8 month investigation, no criminal charges were filed. Also, they stated in the autopsy that his allegry was ‘a’ factor, but not ‘the’ factor.

  • Dan Sayers

    Why would an open carrier have to be shot on sight to prove that they are viewed as a threat simply for being armed? Approaching them–be it with the lead from their gun or the soles of their shoes–is treating them like a threat.

    In Ohio, Concealed Handgun License holders are required by law to inform if armed that they are licensed and armed. I’ve seen some police go white, get nervous, or reach for their own gun in response. As if a criminal is going to tell them that they had a gun.

    It’s a dangerous mindset to be armed and view everybody as a threat.

  • t.

    Tasha: you should have helped you uncle out earlier. Maybe he would have paid his rent and not attacked and injuries 3 officers

  • SingleSpeed

    The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office determined that Saffioti died from bronchial asthma… brought on by his *milk allergy*.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019434669_snohomishjaildeath15m.html

  • Crunch

    Greg is a cop. Cops are usually sociopaths these days. A sociopath has no sympathy for anyone and sees other humans as his to do with as he wants.

    Greg, keep it up. You’ll eventually be out of a job and you’ll be unemployable as a result of your earlier career choice.

  • t.

    Speed: Why post that here? I do love the part where he used marijuana to help with his anxiety. Right.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    ***POLICE OFFICER RAPES A THREE MONTH OLD INFANT AND A ONE YEAR OLD CHILD!***

    When you see common sense, t., underoath, psosgt and all the other shills spew their boot-licking propaganda here on Cop Block, remember, THIS IS WHAT THEY STAND FOR, AND THIS IS WHAT THEY DEFEND!

    Wichita KS police officer Officer Joseph T. McGill, 28, was convicted today of committing a sexual act on a 3-month-old child and a 1-year-old child. Officer McGill pleaded guilty in January 2012 in an unrelated case to sexual battery while on duty as a police officer and was sentenced to three years probation. Those charges stemmed from separate incidents in November 2010 and February 2011. The judge set sentencing for March 1.

    http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/24/2649372/former-police-officer-convicted.html

  • Common Sense

    Yes Speed, I read that one too, but my information was from Jan ’13, not Oct ’12.

  • Common Sense

    I’m gonna start calling Glen ‘Pete Re-Pete’

    oh,

    Glen=liar

  • GuyFawkes

    I have one question for all of you copsuckers. Why didn’t the officers use their tasers instead?

    I can practically hear yourselves stammer over your response.

    We all know why. It was because the officers had an excuse. Notice that it is called a justified, not a necessary shooting. Justified is used for a reason.

    Come on, we all know the cops could have handled this barehanded, but it seems they were too trigger happy that day.

  • A Guy Named Burt

    Hey GukFawkes: Why don’t you make another comment two weeks after everyone else moved on and pretend like they are speechless because you said something earth shattering. NICE WORK!!! Give us all a break and spare us from your stupidity!!

  • Guyfawkes

    Hey Burt, why don’t you fuck off and die? I never said or acted like I said something earth shattering. You act like there’s some kind of video floating around of me gloating about what I said. I’m just going to assume you disagree with me, and can’t refute my point since anything other than a logical discussion devolves into pointless name calling on the net.