WXXI AM News

Reaction to the shakeup in the RPD

Sep 8, 2020

Credit James Brown / WXXI News

The sudden retirement announcement involving Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and other top RPD commanders on Tuesday brought reaction from community groups and officials.

That included Free The People Roc, which has pushed for the resignation of not only the police chief but other top local officials including Mayor Lovely Warren.

The activist group said  that, “Our movement for justice is winning, and it’s because of this incredible community, showing up night after night.” Ashley Gantt is an organization with the NYCLU, and she also is involving with the Free The People Roc demonstrations. She said that, “We accept the resignation, we feel like this is happening because of the power of the people, and at the same time we feel like this is just the start.”

Gantt says the activists are still pushing for the resignation of Mayor Lovely Warren and other steps to be taken to reform policing in the city

The police union, the Rochester Police Locust Club, issued a statement saying that “the events that have unfolded today have taken us completely by surprise, as they have everyone else. What is clear is that the problems of leadership go directly to the Mayor’s office.”

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said that, “Today law enforcement in this community suffered a shockwave with the announcement of the impending retirement and reassignment of the command staff at the Rochester Police Department. As your sheriff, I want to reassure the community that we remain steadfast in providing our public safety function.”

And President Donald Trump tweeted as well:

It is not true that "most of the police" in Rochester have resigned, but several of the command staff did announce their retirements.

Trump had also tweeted on Monday morning, and took flack from local leaders for indicating that Rochester had a bad night on Sunday, when actually, Sunday’s protest in the city was one of the most peaceful demonstrations in recent days.