- FILE PHOTO
- Coalition members Ted Forsyth (left), Barbara Lacker-Ware, Rev. Lewis Stewart, and attorney Charles Burkwit.
The way civilian complaints about police misconduct are handled shows a history of bias against African-American and Latino citizens in Rochester, Stewart said at a press conference yesterday.
The coalition is seeking a new board that would be autonomous and would have the ability to conduct investigations, call witnesses, and recommend discipline.
Much of the coalition’s call for change stems from a two-year investigation into civilian complaints about excessive force by Rochester police officers. The authors of the report, activists Barbara Lacker-Ware and Ted Forsyth, examined 1,200 complaints between 2002-2015, and found that only 2 percent were sustained by the Chief of Police, and only 5 percent by the Civilian Review Board.
During the 14 years reviewed by the investigation, the harshest penalties police officers stemming from excessive-force complaints were six suspensions, the report says.
The coalition will continue its campaign for change through a series of forums that are yet to be scheduled, Stewart said.