Updated 10/15/2012 10:09 PM
Violent police activity the topic of North Central Community Meeting
Some people in Troy say they've seen some violent police activity in the city and community leaders are calling for a board to look into the police department's operations. Troy's mayor and police chief were at a meeting Monday evening to discuss residents’ concerns. Innae Park reports.
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TROY, N.Y. -- “We're in the City of Troy. We're fighting a battle for no reason,” said Troy resident Kevin Pryor.
“It has to stop. It has to stop,” said Troy resident James “Messiah” Cooper.
It was a time to say the unsaid. Both the people and the police chief laid out their concerns with the other at a community meeting in North Central Troy.
“The third police officer shoved me against the wall and cuffed me in front of my screaming four-year-old daughter,” one person said.
“Physical resistance will get you physical resistance,” said Troy Police Chief John Tedesco.
The meeting was organized by Pastor Willie Bacote, a neighborhood advocate for peace and better relations.
Bacote said, “We will never find a solution if we are separated.”
There has been success. Monthly meetings between the Afro-American clergy and the mayor have led to these complaint forms with the Troy Police Department. Anyone who files a complaint can now keep the yellow receipt for their records.
Tedesco said, “I need the community to tell me when it occurs.”
Chief John Tedesco is the one who reviewed all the complaints. He says in the past two years, he hasn't had to discipline any staff for use of force.
“Just to say here that there's been random beatings. I'll tell you right now, it's just not true,” Tedesco said. “The cops are just protecting themselves.”
In the end, the goal is the protection of all. With the police chief promising help, Pastor Bacote urges residents to recognize their mistakes and take responsibility too.
“We're not going to stop. Like I said, this is the first step of a long walk,” he said.
Community leaders are also pushing for the reestablishment of the Police Objective Review Committee. The committee is already in existence in the city of Troy, but it has been inactive since 2011. That's when the members' terms expired, and no action was taken to replace them. The committee can examine, study and make recommendations to the police department about their procedures. Pastor Bacote says that's his next goal, and he will work hard to try to get it in place by the end of the year.
Complaint forms can be retrieved and submitted at the police headquarters or City Hall.