By Davy V.
First, the Rochester, NY Police department tried to buy the community’s respect and trust through a billboard campaign, at taxpayers expense, targeting the African-American and Latino community, with slogans such as “We’ve Got Your Back” and “On The Same Team”
The billboards, which featured actual African-American and Latino RPD officers, were a clear and desperate attempt by RPD Chief Sheppard, the Rochester, NY police department, and Rochester, NY Mayor Thomas Richards to make “reparations” of sorts, with the very same communities (African-Americans and Latinos) which the RPD has a long history of harassing, racially profiling, beating and killing.
Just a few weeks ago, RPD Chief James Sheppard, along with Mayor Richards announced operation “Cool Down.”
At a press conference announcing “Cool Down”, Sheppard addressed the community, “If you’re riding a bike and it doesn’t have a bell, we’re going to stop you. If it doesn’t have lights, we’re going to stop you. Tail light’s out – we’re going to stop you, If you’re on a corner and we think you’re engaged in criminal activity, we’re going to stop you.”
Operation “Cool Down” has resulted in an even greater number of innocent citizens being racially profiled, stopped, harassed and abused by RPD cops, already looking for an excuse to stop and illegally search people.
And of course, when asked if he had concerns that this newest detail by the RPD would result in civil rights violations, Rochester’s millionaire Mayor Thomas Richards dismissed the question, by replying with this cocky, smart-ass answer “The ultimate violation of your civil rights is to be shot to death.”
In other words- No, he doesn’t care.
Last week, in yet another desperate attempt to gain the respect and trust of the African-American and Latino community, the Rochester, NY Police department announced their first annual “Fish with a Cop” event in which RPD cops go fishing with inner city kids, in what the RPD described as “giving them (minority kids) the chance to make them more comfortable interacting with police officers.”
As if in some magical way, through billboards with cheesy slogans of “We’ve Got Your Back” and “We’re on The Same Team”, and through their “Fish with a Cop” event, the African-American and Latino community is going to forgive, or forget the long history and continuing pattern of abuse against them, by members of the Rochester, NY Police department.
Or, that the community won’t realize that the RPD’s own Chief, James Sheppard, a Black man, refuses to discipline police officers who violate the law, and in fact by Sheppard refusing to take action against his rogue officers, Sheppard is actually “co-signing” each act of harassment, abuse, racial profiling and unnecessary killings of African-Americans and Latinos by his officers.
Take, for instance Rochester, NY Police officers Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley, who racially profiled Jeramie Bordeaux, and in order to have a reason to pull him over, Osipovitch and Hartley violated their sworn oath to serve, protect and uphold the law, when they lied, saying that Mr. Bordeaux did not come to a full stop at the intersection of Conkey Avenue and Avenue D, on Rochester’s eastside.
Rochester, NY Police officers Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley then testified in front of a Monroe County Grand Jury, committing perjury, by again lying.
You see, officers Osipovitch and Hartley never realized that high above that intersection, ironically, a City of Rochester video surveillance camera recorded the whole incident, including their lies.
The video shows Mr. Bordeaux coming to a full and complete stop at the intersection.
As a result of these two RPD cops’ lies, who also claimed to have found drugs and a weapon in Bordeaux’s vehicle, an innocent man ended up spending four months in jail, before a Monroe County Court Judge dismissed all the charges against him after watching the video.
Despite his officers violating their oath, the Constitution of the United States of America, and committing perjury, Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard refused to take any disciplinary action whatsoever again officers Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley.
Even though they lied, falsified police reports and committed perjury in front of a Grand Jury.
And now, Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard has the nerve to produce a Youtube video, where he talks about black on black crime, and slams the Rochester, NY community for what he says is them “not caring” about youth being killed in Rochester.
In the video, produced by the City of Rochester, NY Communications department, Sheppard criticizes those who turned out in downtown Rochester, a few months ago, to protest the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.
Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard knows me.
He knows that as a filmmaker, writer and activist I have no problem calling him or his corrupt police force out.
He knows I have done it consistently.
Which is why, in the video, Sheppard takes a shot at me when he says “Many in our community see pro-active strategies by the police department to prevent violence, as harassment of people of color.”
Many in our community, more and more every day, see that your officers are out of control.
Many in our community, more and more every day, realize that as Chief of police, you could care less about African-Americans and Latinos in Rochester, NY.
Which is why it’s not only disgusting, but ironic, that you would get in front of a camera for your “puppet master”, Rochester, NY Mayor Thomas Richards and make a fool of yourself.
We’re not stupid.
You would see that Chief, if you had allowed viewers to post comments on your video, instead of intentionally blocking them.