Troy, New York is home to a legally insulated street gang that has drawn increasing attention for their history of violence against the civilians. In early 2014, these issues were brought to a head when surveillance footage captured in the Kokopellis night club showed multiple police officers using baton strikes to the head against individuals who do not appear to be offering any physical resistance. With no allegations of the use of weapons or other hazards by the parties being assaulted by the police, officers in this case use what can potentially result in death or serious brain damage in an unwarranted show of force. Incidents involving the use of violence by police against non-aggressive individuals have been documented by the Troy Community Alliance Against Police Brutality, in an article wherein the author concludes, “…Troy Police use deadly force as standard practice against unarmed people of color, in situations where the threat level is inappropriate to justify such tactics.” Before an investigation into the Kokopellis incident could even be organized, the sitting mayor and police chief were quick to provide institutional support to the dangerous individuals wielding badges and weapons on behalf of the city.
Fortunately, there are those in the community who are standing up and speaking out. A playlist organized on the BreathingPlanet youtube channel features footage from panels, public forums, and other discussions being fostered in response to the visible violence exposed in recent months. For those outside of the community looking to pressure Troy Police into taking responsibility for their official actions a petition has collected 774 signatures to date on Change.org, and public contact information for the department is listed below:
Troy Police Department – Main Station
55 State Street
Troy NY 12180
Non-emergency phone: (518) 270-4411