A veteran Monroe County prosecutor resigned Tuesday after allegedly writing an Instagram post denigrating the memorial service for George Floyd.
The post, which appeared on the personal Instagram account of Senior Assistant District Attorney Daniel Strollo, read: “7 funerals, a golden casket, and broadcast on every major network for a man who was a violent felon and career criminal? Soldiers die and the family gets a flag.”
Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked protests against police brutality and racial injustice nationwide, was buried in a gold-plated casket at a memorial service in Houston this month that was covered widely by the media.
A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that Strollo resigned that morning, four days after the office was made aware of the Instagram post.
“The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office was made aware of the post late Friday afternoon and the District Attorney accepted Mr. Strollo’s resignation this morning,” the spokesperson, Calli Marianetti, said.
Local Black Lives Matters activists seized on the post to call for Strollo’s resignation once. On Friday, a Facebook post from activist group Free the People Roc urged people to call the District Attorney’s Office and demand Strollo be fired. That post was shared 90 times.
Strollo has since deactivated his Facebook and other social media accounts.
“As someone in the position of prosecuting youth, he is a threat to our community and needs to be removed from his position immediately!” the post reads.
Stanley Martin, an organizer with Free the People Roc, said a person in Strollo’s position using racially-charged rhetoric is unsightly and undermines faith in the local legal system.
“Within the legal system, as an Assistant District Attorney, he is responsible for prosecuting youth, and we have a lot of black and brown youth going through the juvenile system,” Martin said.
Martin called Strollo’s resignation a victory, but urged the District Attorney’s Office to go further by condemning Strollo’s actions, reviewing any cases of his for evidence of bias, and evaluating the backgrounds of other prosecutors.
Strollo was the prosecutor in a high-profile case last year involving a Greece teenager who was accused of plotting a terrorist attack against a Muslim community.
“We’re excited that he resigned, however, I don’t think it goes far enough,” Martin said. “I think the District Attorney’s Office needs to start questioning other people in those positions and what hateful and implicitly biased things they say and spew, and hold them accountable. We are certain he’s not the only one and he represents a larger system of racism in the District Attorney’s Office.”
Martin also said tabs need to be kept on Strollo to keep him from landing a similar job elsewhere.
“He’s resigning because he’s obviously not fit to be in that position,” Martin said. “Now we need to start questioning the impact of what his role and his position has done to our community.”
Gino Fanelli is a CITY staff writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.