Community mourning after veteran RPD officer killed in ambush attack
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – It was a quiet Friday afternoon as neighbors who live near Bauman Street try to come to terms with the horrific shooting and killing of Rochester police officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz.
“I just moved here from Long Island and to see this crime scene it’s horrible. And we should come to peace at some point,” neighbor Karen Chung-Buchanan said.
Chung-Buchanan got a reality check after just moving to the area from Long Island as her neighborhood is now wrapped in crime scene tape.
“It’s so sad and my condolences,” Chung-Buchanan said. “And these officers work very hard and to see all of this going on it’s a sad situation.”
“We are getting ready to fill out applications today and tonight, and we’re moving out,” Shawna Burns and Katrina Manza said.
Burns and Manza said they are always looking behind their back when walking around the neighborhood and this was the final straw to get them to move out.
“A lot of things happen around here too,” Manza said. “A lot of violent things, like shootings, stabbings, killing each other. People get knocked out behind buildings and a lot of random things.”
They are calling for more help to get the violence under control.
“It’s so sad for the whole community. We need backup,” Chung-Buchanan said, “I don’t believe he deserved to lose his life. He was just trying to do his job.”
“If you really want to help us, come down here, immerse yourself with the people. But don’t come down here on behalf of the people, which is convenient to talk about it out there,” CEO of the Father Tracy Advocacy Center Rudy Rivera said.
Rivera said he sees the escalating gun violence in the neighborhood and is frustrated with city leaders and the community.
“I hold those folks in charge responsible,” Rivera said. “You asked to be an elected official, respond. You represent this area. Let me hear your voice. You represent this area. Let me see you down here.”
"We’re fed up, and sick of what’s going on and we see it in our community,” Executive Director of Rise Up Rochester Wanda Ridgeway said. “It’s not that we’re not out in the streets. We are out in the streets doing outreach. We are just tired and we just need to let people know. It doesn’t have to be like this.“
Community groups from Rise Up Rochester, SNUG, Ibero and Pathways to Peace came out in solidarity to stand with Rochester Police at the International Plaza after two Rochester Police Officers were shot. One of them killed.
"Now, if you’re participating in a crime with that individual and you’re telling an individual that’s snitching, it is our duty to tell when we see something,” Ridgeway said. “So we got to get that out of our kids minds, out of their heads. They got to realize it’s not snitching”
These grassroot organizations said they are doing what they can to help, but also say as a community member it’s your duty to speak up when you see something that could help save a life.
“It’s when a police officer takes someone’s life, you can’t walk the streets because the streets are loaded with each other. And where is everybody? Where is the same passion for lives matter?“ Rivera said.