WXXI AM News

police accountability

Free the People Roc has called for a temporary pause to daily or nightly protests in Rochester. Their goal is to rest and prepare for the next phase of work to enact significant and lasting change. So what is the end goal? Are their demands negotiable? Can they work with the mayor, after calling for Mayor Warren's resignation?

Our guest joins us for her first conversation on Connections since the story of Daniel Prude went public. Ashley Gantt was recently profiled by City Newspaper for her work in organizing, and now she's one of the most visible leaders in Rochester. Our guest:

The death of Daniel Prude has led to questions about how police are trained to handle a variety of situations. Marvin Stepherson retired as a police sergeant with 25 years of service in local law enforcement. He now teaches at Roberts Wesleyan, and comments regularly on police-community relations.

Stepherson talks about how he sees the Prude case and what kind of change is possible within police structures. Our guest:

  • Marvin Stepherson, professor of criminal justice at Roberts Wesleyan College, and retired police sergeant 

Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson says the newly formed commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE) was not informed of Daniel Prude’s death. Johnson says the commission has important work to do and can help lead the city forward. He joins us to talk about the Prude case and what we should expect of city leaders.

Our guest:

  • Bill Johnson, former Rochester mayor and co-chair of the RASE Commission

Protesters engaged in a tense standoff with Rochester police Monday night -- the sixth straight night of demonstrations. Organizers say they will be there every night until their demands are met. We discuss those demands, and we talk about what happens next.

Our guests:

We continue our conversation issues surrounding Daniel Prude, who died , We welcome members of the Rochester Police Accountability Board to discuss policing in Rochester and possible reforms. We're also joined by Rochester CITY Newspaper reporter Gino Fanelli, who discusses his recent piece examining 50 years of police reform in Rochester.

Our guests:

  • Shani Wilson, chair of the Rochester Police Accountability Board
  • Danielle Tucker, member of the Rochester Police Accountability Board
  • Drorah Setel, member of the Rochester Police Accountability Board
  • Gino Fanelli, reporter for Rochester CITY Newspaper

The death of Daniel Prude in Rochester police custody has sparked local demonstrations and outreach across the country. Connections is devoting both hours to this story. In our first hour, we hear from community leaders who have been calling for various reforms. They respond to the mayor's claims that she had to keep this case quiet, along with her claims that Rochester does not have the problems that other cities have when it comes to policing. We also discuss other possible reforms.

Our guests:

We sit down with members of the Rochester Police Accountability Board. Rochestarians approved the PAB referendum in November with 75 percent of the vote. In January, City Council approved the board’s nine members. The PAB is tasked with investigating complaints of misconduct made against Rochester police officers. Board members aren’t meeting in person during the pandemic, but they are working on independent research – this, amid conversations about police-community relations and defunding the police.

This hour, we talk to board members about their roles and work, about legal issues surrounding the PAB, and more. Our guests:

  • Shani Wilson, chair of the PAB, activist, and physician assistant who specializes in internal medicine 
  • Celia McIntosh, DNP, RN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, vice chair of the PAB, and nurse practitioner
  • Ida Pérez, member of the PAB, chair of the Scrantom Street Block Club, and director of of Ibero early childhood services
  • Rabbi Drorah Setel, J.D., member of the PAB, and Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El

James Brown / WXXI News

Rev. Lewis Stewart and the United Christian Leadership Ministry were joined by more than a dozen community leaders for a solutions-focused discussion on police reform and community relations Thursday night. Roughly 50 people were on hand for the discussion at First Church of God on Clarissa Street.

The forum included members of law enforcement such as Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, activists from Rochester’s local Black Lives Matter movement, Rochester City Council and others.

We’re joined by members of the United Christian Leadership Ministry to discuss police reform in America. The ministry was founded in 2010; since then, members have advocated for police accountability and policies regarding body worn cameras. Our guests share their perspectives on Rochester City Council’s recent budget vote as it relates to defunding police, and their priorities and recommendations for police reform both locally and nationally. Our guests:

  • Reverend Lewis Stewart, president of United Christian Leadership Ministry
  • Alex White, co-chair of the United Christian Leadership Ministry Community Justice Advisory Board
  • Kerry Coleman, chair of community police relations of United Christian Leadership Ministry

Last week, Rochester City Council passed the city budget, and the subject of defunding police was a hot button issue. We're joined by members of Council who discuss their votes and their perspectives on the best ways to address police reform from a government level.

Our guests:

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