"And yes, technically, even if they weren't blocking the entrance, if a police officer told them to move, they should have moved."
No. Never. A million times infinity no.
If a police officer tells you to move, you do not legally have to move unless you are actively committing a crime, interfering with an investigation, and so on. Mind you, this comes a day or two after a young man, not under investigation, was beaten by the RPD for refusing to leave a public side walk.
Waiting for a bus isn't a crime and it's borderline pathetic to try and justify and/or rewrite RPD's actions in this situation.
Since other people have already pointed out the underlying racism, I won't keep beating a dead horse.
This article bends over backwards to be apologetic to the police department as if both sides have equal arguments for their actions. The police actions are clearly not justified in this instance. Customers may have had to walk around a crowd of young men, but none were prevented from going in the store of leaving the store.
Not only did one police officer arrest these young men, but several police officers participated in the arrest meaning, to me, that the actions of the police were systematic and that none of the officers questioned the lead officers actions.
This could be considered an isolated incident if not for
--The arrest of Benny Warr by police for waiting at a bus stop. He was thrown to the ground and pulled out of his wheelchair by arresting officers.
--The Arrest of Willie Lightfoot by the RPD for DWI when he confronted officers beating a detained man. He was at his barbershop and not operating a motor vehicle at the time.
--The arrest of Emily Good for filming the police stopping a young black man.
--The retaliation against Emily Good supporters by systematically ticketing their vehicles outside the Flying Squirrel Community Center.
and countless other incidents.
The reason there is such a prevalent no snitching policy among Rochester residents is because if you talk to the police you will get beaten and/or arrested and whatever help you were trying to give will backfire. The police know that your poor, disadvantaged and no one will believe your story unless you recorded it.
I expect more from my local paper when covering stories of this nature. You've disappointed me and many other people City Newspaper.
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