WXXI AM News

Group calls for police accountability board, has concerns about independent report

Feb 20, 2018

Credit WXXI News

Members of a group calling for a police accountability board in Rochester shared their critiques of an independent report looking into the issue.

A report from the Center for Governmental Research was presented to City Council in November.

Barbara Lacker-Ware with the group Enough is Enough says they don't agree with some of the information in it.

She says there is widespread misconception that New York State law prevents anyone other than the chief of police from imposing discipline on police officers.

"This is why it is imperative that the community have a complete and true understanding of what the law says. New York State law does not preclude the proposed police accountability board from disciplining officers."

Lacker-Ware says the power of an independent body to impose discipline is essential for true accountability.

Two members, Jessenia Edgeston and Scean Gordon shared their stories of excessive police force at the event.

Lacker-Ware says the group also wanted the report to focus more on the issue of aggressive force used by police; and says some of the data comparing Rochester and other cities with similar programs is incongruent.

City Council President Loretta Scott says they are moving forward in resolving the issue regarding discipline and seeking legal counsel for another opinion.

The group says they will be attending City Council meetings until their ordinance is passed.