Rochester Police Locust Club president calls on mayor to resign
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The president of the Rochester Police Locust Club is calling on Mayor Lovely Warren to resign.
During a press conference Wednesday, News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke asked Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo if he was calling on the mayor to resign.
He said "yes."
The statement comes after Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary announced his retirement from the Rochester Police Department Tuesday amid calls from protesters for him and Mayor Warren to resign. Several other members of RPD command either announced their retirement or stepped down to a lower rank Tuesday as well.
Singletary’s last day as chief will be Sept. 29.
Like the city administration and the community, the union and the rank-and-file RPD officers were blindsided by the chief and command staff retirement announcements.
They implied that the chief was being undermined by the mayor when it came to how he should run the department and more specifically, how they should handle the protests and that, the president of the union says, could put officer safety in jeopardy.
Lewke: "You seem to imply that the tactical decisions of what to do during these protests are coming from directly from City Hall and not PSB. Do you want to elaborate on that at all?"
Mazzeo: "Well, I think those are the questions and the command staff, if they feel in a position to talk, maybe they’re not in a position to talk right now, maybe at the end of the month, I’ll be more willing to speak. Certainly from all of us who have spent many, many years as a police officer, it’s not hard for us to look at a situation and listen to commands on the radio to look and see vulnerabilities and where we have people assigned and the numbers and where the barricades are placed in a number of other factors to say, ‘Something’s not right here.’"
Mayor Warren sent a statement in response to Mazzeo’s call for her resignation:
“For 30 years, the problem with policing in Rochester are cops like Mike Mazzeo that watch the video of Daniel Prude’s death and see nothing wrong.
Who believe there is nothing wrong with driving Mr. Prude’s head into the street. Who believe there is nothing wrong with other officers standing by, joking and failing to intervene while Mr. Prude is dying. Who think its fine to just casually ignore him as he takes his last breath, and then callously and falsely inform his brother who begged for him not to be harmed.
Mike Mazzeo and his ilk exist only to protect and serve themselves, and certainly not the people of the City of Rochester.
It is time for Mike Mazzeo to resign, because his archaic ways of policing are no longer wanted in the City of Rochester."
Mazzeo said the command staff made difficult decisions, but he respects the decision they made.
Mazzeo also said they’ve received calls, emails and other messages from police union members expressing concern that they can not do their jobs effectively, and concern for their own safety.
The back and forth continued with the city saying Mazzeo lied about not seeing the body camera incident before it was made public.
Mazzeo did address the video during the press conference saying some video was available to the union attorney April 2.
He said the full videos were provided to him on July 31.
Click here for full coverage on the death of Daniel Prude.