Hollywood Paid Rochester, NY Police officers $281,751 to Work as ‘Rent-A-Cops’, During Filming for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

By Davy V.

When a Rochester, NY Police officer threatened an employee at the law firm of Rochester attorney Robert Brenna, with arrest, for simply leaning out of his office window to watch the action below during the filming of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, despite that officer wearing a Rochester, NY Police uniform, he was actually working for Columbia Pictures.

When a cameraman from Rochester’s Time Warner affiliate, YNN News, was told by Rochester Police officers that he was not allowed to shoot video, even though he was in a designated public viewing area, those RPD officers

And when Rochester, NY Police officer Richard Ortiz violated the RPD’s Code of Ethics, specifically the part that states “I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions…”, by telling me “I’m not talking to you!”, because of who I am, and what I do, refusing to assist me, my two sons, ages 9 and 11, and my 12 year old niece, when I asked him where would be a safe place to stand to watch the Spiderman movie’s first day of filming, even though officer Ortiz was donning an RPD uniform, in essence, he was also working for Hollywood.

When Rochester Police officer J. Kompanijec, (seen in the photo to the right, texting on the set of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), also refused to talk to me as soon as he recognized who I was, he too was working for Columbia Pictures.

These Rochester, NY Police officers were part of the contractual agreement in which Columbia Pictures agreed to pay the City of Rochester for up to 100 RPD officers to basically serve as their own private security detail.

A security detail which apparently included helping the Hollywood movie giant and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” film production crew who came to Rochester to film a 10-day chase scene, walk a very thin line when it came to citizens’ first amendment rights to photograph, and video record on a public sidewalk.

In a FOIA request made to the City of Rochester, documents show that Columbia Pictures paid Rochester Police officers a total of $281,751 to work as ‘Rent-A-Cops.’

When news broke that Hollywood was looking to rent up to 100 City cops, Rochester, NY Police officers raced to sign up for positions which included “directing traffic”, and “manning barriers.”

Rochester Police officers had to love their 10 day gig.

Threatening innocent citizens with arrest for simply looking out of a windows.

Refusing to help a father with three young children find a safe place to watch filming.

Bark orders at a television news cameraman.

Overall, abuse and misuse your authority.

Move a few barriers.

And get to watch Spidey action while getting paid by Hollywood?

Not bad.

I mean, considering each Rochester, NY Police officer made at least $2,800.00 in overtime.

Not bad at all.


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Davy V.

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.