Note that the videos below are all raw (shot with my HTC Evo 5 via Cop Block’s Bambuser channel, my chest-mounted GoPro, and/or my Canon Vixia HF R10. At the conclusion of The Cop Block Tour I’ll make time to put-together some solid, over-arching videos using content from this stop. In the meantime, if you are so-compelled, you’re welcomed and encouraged to utilize this content and all other content at CopBlock.org.
On Monday, February 18th, 2013 I woke in my Tahoe, and drove a couple hours east on I-90 into Rochester, NY. I was excited to visit Rochester as it’s the stomping grounds of Davy V., one of the most prolific contributors to CopBlock.org.
Davy and I spent a large part of the day driving around the Roc (as it’s known to those in the know) with our cameras at the ready. Those broll clips I captured – the exterior of the Rochester PD West and East facilities, Rochester police cruisers, and more, can be seen at http://YouTube.com/CopBlockRaw.
We watched the watchers but didn’t catch anything too crazy, which is actually preferable in the scheme of things. If that were the norm, after all, it’d mean the need for Cop Block would be non-existent.
Davy’s long been active on the ground, taking a cue from his father Mario, who himself worked to counter police unaccountability, so was able to provide a thorough overview of the many instances of residents who have been aggressed upon by others wearing “Rochester PD” badges.
Davy and I continued to roll around town, which gave us lots of time to brainstorm. We stopped by a couple places – to grab a bite and later to grab a coffee – and at each place Davy, and thus me as I was with him, were warmly welcomed. It was clear the level of mutual respect.
At 7pm we made our way to Nathaniels’s Bar where we met with a few others – including Dave, who was really familiar with Cop Block and related outlets and who himself had experienced some harassment from the gang local to him, Ron who took a bus from Buffalo to join the event and share ideas, and who himself had been kidnapped/caged ten times (none of his actions victimized person/property, merely disobeyed the dictates of some who claim a “legitimate” right to initiate force, and Emily Good, who herself has experienced some rights-violations at the hands of some Rochester police employees, and whom I’d met over a year prior when in NYC to tape a segment of the Stossel show Illegal Everything.
Video of Emily’s treatment by those who steal money from Rochester residents under the guise of protecting them:
After the video above was made live – about a month after the incident – a number of concerned folks in the area gathered to determine how to proceed. While meeting, employees of Rochester police arrived and harassed them by issuing ransom notes. Davy V was on the scene:
A clip from the Stossel segment that touched-on Good’s experience and the kidnapping/caging of myself and Ademo of CopBlock back in May of 2009 by employees of the Jones County (MS) Sheriff’s Department:
After the meetup we walked up the street to support our friend who was donning a t-shirt with the slogan, “Stop Police Corruption” – the Rochester police employees who reminded me of school crossing guards (they were getting paid to help able-bodied people cross the street after a sporting event ended) seemed amused.
The next morning, after grabbing a bite, Davy and I stopped by the grave of Frederick Douglas. I thought it was ironic that flags that represented the same violent institution that at one time, “legalized” his slavery, adorned the ground. How easily people forget history…
The limitation of tyrants is the endurance of those they oppose. – Frederick Douglass
All in all, it was an excellent stop. Much love to Davy for the years he’s worked to hold accountable those who act in the wrong and to support those who’s rights were transgressed by their self-described “protectors.”