Suzie B. Anthony

Rochester's revolutionary protecting and promoting her favorite city!

Category: Police Brutality

A Lovely Victory…?

Lovely Warren

Lovely Warren

For those living under a rock, City Council President Lovely Warren won a primary victory against Mayor Tom Richards on the Democrat ticket.  Because Rochester is so heavily saturated with Democrats many believe that the Democrat who wins the primary will ultimately win the election.  That topic is grist for another day as the one-sided politics of Rochester is definitely worthy of further discussion.

What I want to talk about today is the convergence of race and politics in our community.  We come from a rich heritage of social activism, but we have recent examples of extreme bigotry directed at people of color by those in positions of authority.  In the same month that Ms. Warren won the primary a young African-American woman by the name of Brenda Hardaway made news when videotape of her arrest was made public.  In the video the pregnant Hardaway is punched multiple times by a police officer before being thrown to the ground and handcuffed.

Earlier this year Benny Warr, a wheelchair bound African-American man, was assaulted by police and charged with disorderly conduct and other charges while he was waiting for a bus.  This is nothing new to people of color in Rochester, New York.  The Rochester Police Department has officially cracked down on minority groups with Zero Tolerance and Operation Cool Down; two programs designed to disrupt criminal activity, but end up harassing poor men and women of color.  These two programs are also very similar to the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program which was recently struck down in federal court for violating people’s civil rights.

Ms. Warren is qualified to be mayor in all respects and if elected will be the first African-American woman to be mayor of Rochester, New York.  The question I pose is will her election make a difference to those who have been disenfranchised by previous administrations?  As City Council President Ms. Warren voted with the mayor and the majority of City Council over 90% of the time.  If her views are the same as the mayor’s based on her voting record will her tenure as mayor be more of the same or the breath of fresh air that our city needs?

I’m interested in your thoughts and comments to create a fuller dialogue on this and other complex issues.  Feel free to comment below.

-Suzie B. Anthony

Did Police Assault a Pregnant Woman?

Brenda Hardaway

Brenda Hardaway

This is the question we will be asking ourselves for the foreseeable future: did police assault a pregnant woman.  The question is easy to ask, but the answer is rather difficult to ascertain.  Or is it?

Members of a family are having a loud verbal argument.  Neighbors call the police.  Officer Lucas Krull and other Rochester Police Officers arrive to evaluate the situation and are told by a resident they are not welcome on the property and that they would not be giving consent for the police to be on the property.

The police could evaluate family members for possible injuries, talk with everyone to see if there is a consistent story and reason to probe further, but realistically there isn’t much they should do.  This is where the story should realistically end.

“Why do you say that Suzie B?” you may ask.  The police have a responsibility to investigate and arrest criminals.  That is what we pay them for isn’t it?

The job of the police is to serve and protect.  This means serving the community and protecting our constitutional rights.  Sometimes these two ideas are in agreement and other times they are in opposition.  When there is a question as to what to do next the answer should always be to protect our constitutional rights.

Instead the police press on and decide the arrest Romengeno Hardaway (the family member who did not give the police consent to be on the property) and his sister Brenda Hardaway.  Brenda is twenty-one years old and six months pregnant.  Below is a video of their arrest as it happens.  What I want you to think about is this: when Officer Krull is slamming a pregnant woman up against a house and car whose interests is he serving?  Is it the community’s or her constitutional rights?  When he later slams her against the porch and punches her in the head while her hands are restrained behind her back whose interests is he serving?

This is pure speculation on my part, but I have a feeling that Romengeno did not give the police consent because this is not the first instance of police brutality that he has ever witnessed.

To view the video of the incident click here.

***Special thanks to Davy V. for being the first to bring this video to my attention and additional posts by Rachel Barnhart and the Democrat and Chronicle.***