Rochester Mayor Evans says objectives for first few weeks are violence and COVID

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New Rochester Mayor Malik Evans announced the objectives for the first weeks of his term will ve violence and COVID-19.

He stressed the importance of the community’s willingness to help fix both issues.

"We’re dealing with a double pandemic in our community right now," Evans said. "It’s not ‘me’ it’s ‘we’. We must do these things as a community, as an entire community. […] The community has to own these challenges and that means they have to also own the solutions, and there is no community better suited than Rochester when it comes to finding solutions. We’ve done it before and we’re going to do it again."

Evans addressed the first homicide of 2022, a 14-year-old. It happened on North Street Sunday.

He said the city should not be starting off 2022 with a tragedy like this.

While he says he realized city violence was going to be one of his biggest challenges, he said nothing could have prepared him for the death of a 14-year-old.

"He could’ve been a doctor, could’ve been a lawyer, could’ve been an astronaut and now that young man is gone from us forever and on my first day of mayor I had the awesome task of picking up the phone and calling his mom and dad to offer my condolences," Evans said.

He reiterated the need for the community to be a part of the solution.

"We have to get guns off the street, we have to arrest the most violent offenders and we have to interrupt disputes before they become violent or lead to violence but all of those require the same thing… information," Evans said.

Evans said Greer Jr’s. family deserves justice and there is no honor in silence that leads to death.

"Someone knows who shot a 14-year-old baby," Evans said. "There is someone in this community that is aware of that and they need to come forward — even if you have to do it anonymously — you don’t have to tell the police. You can tell someone trusted. You can talk to Victor. You can talk to the Office of Neighborhood Safety. I don’t care who you reach out to, but this mother who I just talked to on my first day in office deserves justice for her baby. And that’s what he was: A baby."

Evans reiterated his calls for anyone who knows anything about this crime, or the other recent unsolved homicides to say something. He said you can call 311, City Council or the Mayor’s Office as well.

On COVID, Evans said "We know what to do": Wear masks, get vaccinated, get a booster, wash your hands and socially distance. Evans said if you feel sick, stay home and get a COVID test.

"I know everyone is tired of COVID fatigue," Evans said. "I hate wearing these masks, but I continue to do it not for me, but for other people who may be immunocompromised. We’re all tired of it. I am. But we have to make sure that we do not let our guard down."

Evans said he’s also working to fill several vacancies, including one on the Rochester City Court. Click here for more information.

Evans was sworn in at midnight on Jan. 1 and held his inauguration ceremony Saturday afternoon.

Watch the full press conference in the video in the player below (mobile users, click here):