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From left to right; Minister Florence, Al Shapton, and my Dad, Mario Vara in 1991,
before I marched with them in downtown Rochester, NY.
|Irondequoit, NY Police officer|
By Davy V.
Like many teenagers, 15-year old Irondequoit, NY resident Drake, whose last name I have decided not to publish, since he is a minor, and has not been charged with any crime, loves skateboarding with his friends.
Unfortunately, Drake says, when it comes to skateboarding, Irondequoit, NY Police officers don’t share his passion.
Take, for example an incident which occurred a couple of weeks ago while Drake was skateboarding with some friends near Norton Street, and Culver Rd.
Two Irondequoit, NY Police officers drove up to the teens, exited their cruisers, and approached the youths.
As the video below shows, Drake, shows he obviously knows a thing or two about video recording any and all interactions with law enforcement, as he wastes no time in recording the IPD officers.
The video shows the officers questioning one of Drake’s friends, also a minor..
“They wanted my friend to get in the car with them”, Drake tells me, after he contacted me to tell me he wanted me to have the video, because he’s tired of Irondequoit Police harassing him and his friends when they’re skateboarding.
In the video, Drake can be heard telling his friend “They’re just going to fuck you over.”
Then, one of the IPD officers can be seen walking right up to Drake.
“How about this? The next time you say the f word, and if you don’t move right now, I’m going to lock you up…” says the officer.
Drake is then heard asking “For what?”
The officer, seen walking back up to the teen, replies “You can’t swear in public, you just said the f word, my suggestion to you is don’t get in my way, shut your mouth, and go that way…”
The officer then tells Drake, “You’re on my sidewalk.”
To which the teen, again showing he knows his rights, tells the officer, “This is not your sidewalk, it’s public.”
“Oh it’s my sidewalk, trust me”, the officer replies.
Then, in a classic example of the intimidation tactics, law enforcement officers use, the same officer threatens to charge another teen with disorderly conduct.
The teen also shows he knows his rights, and respectfully tells the officer that he has done nothing wrong.
The officer, realizing that he has been video recorded harassing minors, then seems to concede, and walks away with his fellow officer.
I asked Drake how does it make him feel that those who take an oath to serve and protect, instead harass innocent people.
“It makes me mad that I’m harassed in my own neighborhood for doing nothing wrong, and committing no crime”, Drake said.
“It makes me feel like a target in my own community.”
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