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Mazzeo, Singletary ousted from RASE Commission

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Rochester Police Locust Club President Michael Mazzeo and Rochester police Chief La’Ron Singletary will not serve on the city-county Commission on Racial and Structural Equity, the commission co-chair, Bill Johnson, announced Wednesday.

Mayor Lovely Warren rescinded the appointments of Mazzeo and Singletary on Friday, Johnson explained, adding that she did so at the request of the commission’s co-chairs. They requested that Mazzeo and Singletary be replaced “due to their close involvement with any investigations” into the death of Daniel Prude, a statement from the co-chairs read.
Michael Mazzeo, president of the Rochester Police Locust Club, said Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, that the officers involved in the incident that led to Daniel Prude's death conducted themselves in a manner consistent with their training. - PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • Michael Mazzeo, president of the Rochester Police Locust Club, said Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, that the officers involved in the incident that led to Daniel Prude's death conducted themselves in a manner consistent with their training.
Singletary resigned from the Rochester Police Department on Tuesday, though he’ll remain on the job through the end of the month.

The RASE Commission was established by Warren and County Executive Adam Bello to examine structural and systemic racism in Monroe County and Rochester and recommend ways to address them. One of the commission’s charges is to examine local policing policies.

Johnson said he is looking to immediately fill the two seats on the 21-member board.

Members of the commission were sworn in on Aug. 10, six days after Mayor Lovely Warren claims she first saw body camera footage of Rochester police restraining Prude, who was naked, unarmed, and in distress when he was arrested on March 23.

News of Prude’s death became public a week ago and has sparked large daily protests ever since.



The departure of Singletary and Mazzeo from the commission leaves the board with just two representatives of law enforcement and none from the city, although some critics have questioned why any police presence is necessary. Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter and the county’s Director of Public Safety Richard Tantalo remain on the board.

Johnson said he remains confident in the future of the commission, which is set to release its final recommendations in February. He implored protest organizers and elected officials to proclaim a “ceasefire” and begin negotiating.

“Not all thousands of them can sit around a table, but they need to understand the whole process of negotiation, you never get everything you want, I get something and you get something,” Johnson said. “We need to decide what it is that is most important.”

Gino Fanelli is a CITY staff writer. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or gino@rochester-citynews.com.

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