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To: Rochester City Council members, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, Rochester Police Accountability Board

Rochester cops attack mother and 3 year old—police union won’t condemn it

Rochester cops attack mother and 3 year old—police union won’t condemn it

Mike Mazzeo, head of Rochester’s police union, is refusing to condemn a horrific, unwarranted attack by police officers on a Black woman who was holding her 3-year-old child. After officers falsely accused the mother of shoplifting, they slammed her to the ground and then pepper-sprayed her, as she held her child’s hand. Just a few weeks earlier, Mazzeo defended officers who handcuffed and pepper sprayed a 9-year-old girl. In September, Mazzeo defended the officers that mocked, suffocated, and killed Daniel Prude. It’s clear that Mazzeo’s refusal to condemn these horrific acts is perpetuating a culture of violence and impunity in Rochester police that puts all of Rochester in danger. Mazzeo has to go—we call on you to use your power to force his removal as president of the Rochester Locust Club.

Why is this important?

After defending police officers who pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old girl, Rochester police union president Mike Mazzeo is now refusing to condemn officers who just attacked a mother and her toddler—including some of the same officers involved in pepper-spraying the 9-year-old. These are the latest incidents in a pattern of horrific police violence against Black people in Rochester, and Mazzeo has consistently worked to deflect accountability for police officers, excuse their conduct, and shift blame to city leaders.

Mazzeo’s message to Rochester police officers is clear: use reckless violence against Rochester’s Black residents, and I will defend you, no matter the impact or consequences of your actions.

In just a few months in Rochester, we can see how Mazzeo’s actions have excused police violence against Black people in the city:

• In September, Mazzeo defended the officers who mocked, suffocated, and killed Daniel Prude, saying they did nothing wrong.

• In January, Mazzeo defended the officers who abused and pepper sprayed a terrified, crying 9-year-old girl.

• Just weeks later, Rochester officers viciously attack a mother and her girl after falsely accusing the mother of shoplifting—and Mazzeo has refused to condemn it, or push for any kind of accountability.

If Mazzeo can excuse this kind of horrific police violence and remain the leader of the police union, it paves the way for Rochester police to continue committing acts of violence against Rochester residents, and makes achieving accountability for police and the enactment of necessary reforms nearly impossible.

Mike Mazzeo has to go. Please join us in calling on Rochester’s Mayor, Chief of Police, City Council members, and Police Accountability Board to force Mazzeo’s departure, now.



2021-04-12 18:59:47 -0400

100 signatures reached

2021-04-12 16:24:37 -0400

50 signatures reached

2021-04-12 15:35:54 -0400

25 signatures reached

2021-04-12 15:29:07 -0400

10 signatures reached