ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Officer Dennison Wright was repeatedly stabbed and slashed in the face with a knife by a New York man trying to escape police custody.
And now leaders from that same city are trying to put civilians in charge of police.
As Wright struggles to survive, his life forever changed, city leaders are coming under fire.
Loretta Scott sits on the city council in Rochester, New York. After the horrific attack that nearly took the life of an officer, Scott visited his bedside to show her support.
As Officer Dennison Wright lay in his hospital bed, fighting for his life after the brutal attack, Scott took the opportunity to tell reporters that she didn’t take what police officers did for granted.
“It’s very difficult to see someone who, just by the fact of doing their job, was in that position,” she said.
The statements don’t seem so outrageous… until you see how Scott usually acts toward police.
In fact, the general attitude of city leaders and the community toward police is so bad, Bob Lonsberry told WHAM radio that they could be partially to blame for the attack on Wright.
Council President Scott is pushing to pass a little something called the Police Accountability Board.
Its name makes it sound innocent enough. But it’s not what it seems.
Rochester City Council approves Police Accountability Board https://t.co/keJaC7cl7P
— CITY Newspaper (@roccitynews) May 22, 2019
This PAB group is made up of a panel of civilians called the Police Accountability Board Alliance – and if it’s passed in a referendum vote in November, it would put the power to discipline local officers into the hands of anti-police ‘activists’.
In a situation where an officer would be facing an investigation or alleged misconduct, Scott’s board of activists would get the final say about whether they were to be punished.
Not the chief of police. Not the mayor.
A panel of individuals who routinely have argued that the cops are the enemy of the community.
Any police officer – regardless of wrongdoing – knows that complaints against cops come in all the time. Whether it’s an attempt to discredit an officer, get a handout from the city or something else, the vast number of complaints are normally unfounded.
We checked out the PAB’s website.
“The proposed PAB would be a civilian-led oversight board,” the site reads. “The Chief of Police cannot be expected to investigate, evaluate, and discipline police officers. This is a clear conflict of interest.”
BREAKING: Rochester Police Locust club files lawsuit against city, Mayor Warren, City Council and Board of Elections to get the Police Accountability Board referendum vote off the ballot on Election Day. #ROC https://t.co/NYCtJicZhW
— News 8 – WROC-TV (@News_8) September 10, 2019
And how much do they want to fund the project?
Oh… just a million dollars, even though the city is reportedly facing a $30 million budget deficit.
Their plan consists of five ‘pillars’.
- An independent agency of city government, separate from RPD
- The power to independently investigate complaints of police misconduct
- Subpoena power to compel the production of evidence and witnesses
- Disciplinary power
- The power to review and evaluate RPD patterns, practices, policies and procedures to recommend systemic changes and to prevent misconduct from happening in the first place.
While there’s an open application for joining the Police Accountability Board Alliance, let’s look at some examples of people in the community that could be in charge of deciding an officer’s fate.
Lonsberry said that just days before Wright was viciously attacked and left for dead, reverend and community activist Lewis Stewart appeared on the evening news, talking about the “racist culture of the police.”
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His statements condemned the Rochester department for their dealings with a 13-year-old who, at the instruction of his mother, refused to comply with officers and continued to resist and fight back, making the officers look like the bad guys when they controlled the situation. The boy was hailed as a victim and the mother’s face was shown covered in tears, demonizing the cops.
Then just days later, Keith Williams allegedly attacked Officer Wright, nearly ending his life.
Lonsberry said the display of anti-police rhetoric can’t be ignored any longer.
“When neighbors’ Facebook Live broadcasts from outside a scene bloodied with an officer’s gore contain such commentary as, “I hope they killed this mother f—er’s ass. I hope it’s a straight head shot,” you’ve got to acknowledge that there is a problem,” their story read. “And that problem is an open hatred of the police which is dressed up as civil-rights activism.”
Reports say that police in the Rochester area have recently had an increasingly difficult time with getting suspects to comply with lawful commands. News stories have shown officers being confronted by people who refuses to obey orders.
Lonsberry said that “those people – instead of being accurately described as rude or disrespectful – are held up as heroes or victims.”
We train our officers. Shouldn’t we train our communities on how to work with the police?
If these are the people playing Monday morning quarterback and deciding our officers’ future, we’re all in trouble.
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