The Rochester Police Chief acknowledged that his officers acted in a retaliatory fashion by issuing petty tickets to citizens supporting Emily Good, the woman who was arrested in May for videotaping a traffic stop from her front yard.
Actually, he didn’t quite the use the word retaliatory.
He called it “targeted enforcement activity,” which is cop talk for retaliatory.
He also said it was “unacceptable” and “inappropriate” and promised that those tickets would be voided, according to 13WHAM, Rochester’s ABC affiliate.
And he mentioned that the commander overseeing those officers was replaced, but wouldn’t give any more details on internal disciplinary actions.
He also denounced Good’s arrest by saying it was merely a “training issue” that needs to be resolved.
The truth is, both incidents were retaliatory.
The first incident was retaliatory against a woman who insisted on video recording a traffic stop from her front yard, even after the cop ordered her inside.
And the second incident was retaliatory against citizens who dared take a stand against the first incident.
The National Press Photographers Association played a strong role in new training procedures for the department.
Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the NPPA, sent the following statement to Photography is Not a Crime:
“NPPA is pleased that the Rochester police have announced new training for its officers regarding obstruction charges. I met with the chief earlier this week and was asked to review their policies and procedures regarding photography by members of the press and public. NPPA looks forward to working with them as we have with other police agencies around the country. We are glad that they have taken a more enlightened approach to this issue and look forward to their implementing our recommendations. As with any policies, the key will be continuing training and enforcement should those procedures be violated.”
Good, who was arrested in May, has since filed a lawsuit.
Less than a week after the video went viral, Rochester citizens gathered in a community meeting to discuss police accountability when four cops pulled up outside and started issuing parking tickets, using a little pink ruler to determine if they had parked more than 12 inches from the curb.
The incident was recorded in the above video by Davy Vara, a longtime video activist whom I had the pleasure of meeting over the summer when he was visiting Miami.
Vara also recorded the following video in which a Rochester cop was parked more than 12 inches from the curb, but was not cited.