Rochester police use selective enforcement of parking laws to harass attendees at a meeting in support of Emily Good

A followup on Emily Good, the woman who was arrested for video-recording a police stop from her front yard: during a neighborhood meeting in support of Ms Good, Rochester Police came out with a ruler and measured the parking-distance of the attendees' cars. Cars that were more than 12 inches from the curb (even by half an inch) were ticketed. Needless to say, the 12 inch ordinance isn't normally enforced with this kind of vigor.

Police Harass Community Members Attending Meeting in Support of Emily Good


    1. Wait,, what? “A civilian complaint?” someone should point out to deputy fife that HE is in fact, a civilian.

  1. Wow! Looks like they just filmed the police harassing them. When will the police learn?

    1. So, don’t they realize that the people in the town get to decide their budget next year? Those videos show up to four police just to ticket one vehicle! Looks like they have too many police on the payroll with nothing to do, so they can fire a few, huh?

      1. Enforcing parking regulations isn’t harassment, but selective enforcement targeted at a community meeting about an illegal arrest *is* harassment.

        Rochester has a parking enforcement division, police officers don’t typically do it at all. But FOUR officers all standing around one car writing down its information… well that looks an awful like the East German Stasi. These cops are clearly trying to send a message “don’t ever question the police,” and possibly “taking names” to continue further targeting of people who question them.

        At the very least, all of the police officers involved should be docked pay for wasting so much manpower on a job that one parking enforcement officer could have easily have completed.

    1. Looking at things like this, I can’t help but feel that the police force is America’s largest gang. And it is certainly unfortunate, because incidents like this are only creating a larger rift between the police and the people. This is not going to end well…

    2. whoa whoa dude, I really dont think thats the right attitude. You shouldnt lump all policemen together like that “just another reason to hate policemen” I agree these police officers are not behaving acceptably, but that doesnt mean all officers are terrible people. They are people just like everyone else, with feelings and mistakes.

      1. Yea, but the generalization that they are all bad guys is becoming easier to make and more valid every day we spend in an age where information is free.

      2. There are no good cops, no not one. Any cop who stands by while his co workers do this kind of stuff is a bad cop. Any cop who gives “professional courtesy” is a bad cop. Any cop who takes something for free from a citizen is a bad cop.

  2. Why is the camerawoman “sorry?” This kind of thing isn’t really a good place for sarcasm, these officers and their tattoos are acting like 3rd graders. “Moooooommm, Billy is one inch over on my side of the car seat!! HE WON’T MOVE OVER”

    If these people are smart, they’ll start going after the union and (former) officers on disability retirement.

  3. How dare anyone demand checks and balances on police power, or rights of any kind.

  4. I saw at least four patrol cars and four officers. Sounds like Rochester’s PD is overstaffed if they can afford to send that many resources to a parking ’emergency.’

  5. Ok. I humbly retract everything I said yesterday.

    These guys are pigs of the highest order.

  6. Wait, wait everybody, don’t forget we are a nation where anything can be changed by the slow, sure hand of the democratic process, all within the bounds of our local, state, and federal laws, because there is transparency in government and law enforcement institutions, and all laws will be applied equally to everyone without regard to race, gender, or political views, and…

    Uh, yeah. That’s why we need Lulzsec. And Anonymous. And civil disobedience. They’re not the only colors in the palette, but they’re necessary ones.

    The alternative? The deck perpetually stacked against the individual, in favor of the government and corporate institutions, responded to by our ineffectual hand-wringing. Do you think we’d have fair copyright laws and technological advances if we didn’t have piracy? Do you think we’d have government transparency without Wikileaks? Do you think we’d have civil rights laws without civil disobedience?

    Nope, nope, and nope.

  7. I don’t think there is any doubt that sudden strict enforcement of this law is police harassment, however, I’m not sure we can immediately assume that any/all of the individual officers are to blame here.

    It could easily be the case that this group has been ordered by someone in charge to take this action. If an individual officer disagrees with this approach then they are unlikely to comment about it on video (assuming they are sensible). They’ve got their job to be concerned about.

    If Officer X doesn’t believe in this action, they may even feel compelled to enforce the law strictly *because* they are being filmed. On a normal day they may have been inclined to cut some slack, but knowing that their superior officers would be able to view their work they aren’t likely to.

    Equally, this could be a group of a*****e officers who have taken it upon themselves to show “support” for one of their colleagues.

    The facts behind this certainly need to be investigated, and whoever is ultimately responsible for this outrageous behaviour needs to be taken to task for this, but I’m not sure the video necessarily identifies who the person or persons are.

    1. Dude it’s nothing but harassment. Sounds like the people there need to step it up a notch. Get them fired and sue the city. That doesn’t work then ninja time the police there are thugs so it starting to look like citizens will have to take the law into their own hands because the police are the problem.

    2. Okay, but if you are an officer that disagrees, why bust someone’s chops for parking half an inch away? If you think it’s wrong why not give people the same slack you normally would. If any of these officers felt that way they could have just eyeball’d them and said they look close enough, or pulled out their ruler and said that it was close enough, using the kind of vigilance that they typically use to enforce this law.

  8. The problem is that, by harassing these good citizens, the police are sending a message, loud and clear, that people better keep their nose out of police abuse of power. The police win even if the tickets are thrown out or if they are told to stop harassing THIS group of people.

    There is only one way that some equilibrium can be put into this situation – there has to be serious discipline of the police involved, and the town leaders must make clear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with citizens recording a crime scene or a police abuse scene, so long as they do not interfere with the lawful police activity and do not disturb or tamper with the evidence.

    Most of us are cowards. We would not speak up to abuse of power, much less attempt to stop it or record proof of that abuse. We talk about land of the free, home of the brave, liberty, justice, civil rights, etc., but very few every place themselves on the line to protest police abuse, even when we are the targets of it.

    Slowly, but surely, the increasing daily number and shocking facts of stories of abuse of liberty are mounting. How many politicians are running on platforms that would stop this rapid trend? How can the average coward express his or her opposition, if not in the voting booth? We need a real national dialog on this.

    1. I had a police officer fired from our local department for abuse of power. Later he showed up in Sheriff’s department; same county. I had him fired again. Stand up people.

  9. Cops have very fragile egos especially when their integrity and authority are questioned (especially with good reason). The citizen video blogger should have had an accomplice take to laughing at the police officers. That would have been a very special sight to see. Viral for sure.

    I mean, a 12-inch Pink ruler? Someone, please tell me why Rochester cops carry this around in their cruisers. LOL!

    “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand”
    -Mark Twain

    Anchor Cracks Up At Fart Story
    I’m sure that charge of “flatu-ssault” was withdrawn.

    1. I mean, a 12-inch Pink ruler? Someone, please tell me why Rochester cops carry this around in their cruisers. LOL!
      Quick, somebody hack that guy’s yfrog account . . .

  10. I propose we immediately triple the penalties and lower the burden of evidence required to prove “harassment under cover of authority.” [Yeah, as though THAT would make it through any legislative or executive body in the US these days…]

  11. The first incident could at least be chalked up to one officer who made a bad decision in the heat of the moment.

    This is, to me, WAY more infuriating. Pure, premeditated intimidation, and a complete waste of taxpayer’s money. I want to see the next public hearing involving Rochester PD’s budget.

  12. I hope a judge makes the police force enforce all parking for the next three years with a ruler, forcing them to unpaid overtime.

    1. Sounds like a good plan to me. Apparently they didn’t have to do their Real Job — like look for some Real criminals

  13. There are several thing that bother me about this story, not the least of which is the fact that it happened in my city.

    A police officer who is troubled by being video taped is afraid of being caught because he/she is doing something improper.

    A police officer who expects a woman to back up ON HER OWN LAWN during a routine traffic stop, which is not a crime scene, just because he says so…is an egomaniac.

    An egomaniac should have neither a badge nor a gun.

    Rochester has a Parking Enforcement Bureau whose taxpayer-funded job it is to deal with parking issues while the police are out policing what is a seriously crime-ridden city.

    Lesson: you don’t HAVE to do what a cop says just because a cop says to do it (under routine circumstances) but you darn well better. It’s nice I woke up May 12 in Communist China and I didn’t even have to renew my passport.

    follow RocThePeace on Twitter

    1. An egomaniac should have neither a badge nor a gun.

      We’d rapidly find no one qualified to be a LEO if we hewed to that principle.

    1. I live in Rochester. I’ve thought this situation was ridicuous since the Emily Good video was released and this measuring from the curb is ridiculous. But I can’t sit here and let everyone bash the Rochester Police Department as a whole. Yes, there are obviously some sour, petty, and vindictive cops in the force, but that is true of almost all institutions.

      To use these particular cases to villify the entire force is wrong and and a severe misrepresentation. As a teacher in Rochester, I’ve seen the blatant defiance and disrespect that the police deal with when they are very much within their jurisdiction. And yet despite the degrading treatment they receive, they have conducted themselves with distinguished professionality.

      Let’s not allow the exceptions to ruin the good name and reputation of all.

      1. The officers that showed up to intimidate the people attending the meeting are still on duty and still being paid. This in spite of the fact that they are clearly guilty of selective enforcement at a bare minimum, and intimidation and harassment at worst.

        When they put them on administrative leave, issue a formal apology, dismiss all tickets written that day, and begin a full investigation and dismiss or discipline all the officers involved ( including those issuing the orders, if orders were issued ), then you can claim that we should not paint the entire department with the same brush.

        Until then, they are complicit, and as such, they are all delinquent in their duty to the community, and in violation of their oaths. Law enforcement is granted authority in exchange for being held to a HIGHER ethical and behavioral standard than regular private citizen.

  14. Please, remind me why selective enforcement of the laws is not an accepted stand-alone defense in a court of law…

    In this case, one should not even have to prove a link to the arrest – simply that police can never be bothered to enforce that law, than suddenly bring 4 cops with pink rulers to enforce it. The burden of proving that this is appropriate should be on the police, instead of asking the harassed citizens to prove that the police is abusing its powers.

    We can call it the use it or lose it defense :)

    1. It would certainly allow us to pare down the law books quickly. Even better, selective enforcement is an affirmative defence and if the law has gone unenforced for some reasonable number of years (5-10?) it is declared null and comes off the books entirely. We might finally end up with a set of laws the average citizen can understand, at least in the criminal realm.

      Of course, that doesn’t serve the needs of the prison industry or the government to have a pretence to arrest anyone at any time, so I guess that’s out.

  15. Someone please look at the blotter and see if any crimes were occurring when these pink-12″ toting dicks came around.

    1. “Someone please look at the blotter and see if any crimes were occurring when these pink-12″ toting dicks came around.”

      They have 12″ dicks? That certainly explains the ego trip.

    2. Good idea. And a class-action lawsuit filed for victims of crimes committed in that time period.

      Nothing motivates corrective behavior like hitting them in the wallet.

  16. “Public Safety – Community Engagement – Morale – Teamwork – Leadership Development.”

    Rochester Police, just doin their job.

    PS I live in the UK and did not even know these jokers existed.

  17. I got a ticket for something similar in Detroit a few months ago, I think. I say “I think” because the ticket only said “Improper parking” and everything else was fine. The only thing I could figure out could have been one of my wheels was about 10 inches from the curb. The funny thing is though that there were vehicles much larger than mine that stuck out into the street a lot further.

  18. I wonder if these folks could find out of there were really complaints through Freedom of Information Act. Probably easily faked (if they thought to cover themselves that way) and it’d probably take three years to process.

  19. Where do these guys live? How about taking some pink rulers over to their neighborhoods and calling in some violations? I really think the only way to teach these guys a lesson is to make their lives more of a living Hell than the lives of their victims. Maybe need to get creative here. Also, I don’t know much about the chain of command or local political structure, but the mayor should be harassed 24/7 until this rogue police department is punished.

    1. Wow. Take it to their houses? Man… that country your advocating for is not one I want to live in any more than the one full of berulered Five Oh.

  20. you know what is rediculous is that even today after all of the probably
    hundreds of thousands of cases that have gone to court over police
    harassment that cops can’t think past their badge/gun… it does take
    a certain kind of person to be a police officer. In general I do
    believe they are more simple minded and egotistical. I don’t believe
    that all are… but your average beat cop… for sure. They just don’t
    understand that there are repercussions to their own actions. No
    matter how many sensitivity training courses they get pushed through.
    It’s a blockage of the mind and something they should look more
    closely at when they put these cops through academies. I am sure in
    many ways they see themselves as nearly combat trained military
    personel. I guarantee that there is that feeling when they are fresh
    out of the academy. Banded together against the bad guys… But the
    “bad guys” are CITIZENS. They police force needs to focus
    on the cops feeling more like citizens themselves. Grok what it feels
    like to be the average man. Not what it feels like to be a righteous
    f*ck carrying a gun “upholding” the law. Where the f*ck are the PR
    teams for police forces? Seems like no matter where you go. No matter
    what part of the united states you are in there is latent angst about
    the “pigs” why is that? Are we all just so involved in illegal
    activity that we are forever on edge? The only times I have ever seen
    people comfortable around cops is when they know them personally. Do
    you feel uncomfortable around the average stranger you walk past?
    Think about the next time you see a cop. I personally make it a point
    to look them in the eye and say hello these days. But it does occur to
    me in the back of my head that I need be a little alarmed. Why is
    that? Did you feel that way about your teachers when you were younger?
    They were the authority then. No you felt close to them and
    comfortable around them. When you did something wrong they slapped
    your wrists. But you never feared them. Why must police officers
    introduce fear into the lives of the average law abiding citizen?

  21. If Ms. Good has a car, she should carefully inspect the underside. There may be more evidence of harassment to be found there.

  22. People should go around measuring cop cars that are parked and see how many are parked “illegally.”

  23. one foot is pretty small, I just looked it up, and in NY it is 12″. Here in California, and many states it seems, it is 18″ which is much more understandable. I could see me parking in NY and assuming it’s the same as home, sometimes it’s hard to gauge the distance on the far side of the car. I feel sorry for those people that got tickets for supporting this.

    1. Wha….

      When I park it’s tire touching curb.

      I might can understand if it’s a tight parallel spot, you might end up 6 to 8 inches away, but more than a foot and you need a smaller vehicle.

  24. This isn’t just harassment – this is Retaliation. It’s about asserting their control, authority and power over their subjects. 4 cop cars, however many officers all with rulers playing the job of basically a meter maid. Seriously this is a gross show of Retaliation and harassment of the citizens of Rochester. Sick.

  25. Ever heard of city council? It’s time to COMPLAIN LOUDLY, citizens of Rochester. The police will behave this way as long as they don’t fear the populace. But when they realize they answer to a higher master, they WILL reform. They will reform or be replaced. And if you don’t complain to City Council, you are doing yourselves a disservice by being meek.

  26. disciplining the citizenry is identical to successfully disciplining a child you raise. The law must be seen as from on high, and the enforcer of the law must be seen as having little to no effect on the fact the law is being applied. This prevents negotiations on a human one on one level.

    With that in mind, the police (or any rule by force) strive to maintain a mythical status of being unbeatable to make people uninterested in even trying to start a fight. You see this happen when corporations cause you to loose your life savings fighting lawyers when you are in the right as well.

    Any attempt to hold an individual cop to any sort of standard as judged by the public at large will be seen as a pulling at the fabric of the curtain that hides the fact they are but humans.

    if cops are thought of as individual humans then nothing is stopping us from behaving like a 2 year old who screams because we know it will payoff since we ourselves would give in if in their shoes.

    of course this causes ridiculous things to happen like over or under enforcement, and that whole thing about a cop killer being worse than a killer of a civilian etc etc. bleck.

    Bullies rise to the top while others fall under their heels, democracy or not.

  27. Oh, and btw, some bright citizen in Rochester needs to make a Flickr set of Rochester police vehicles parked >12″ away from the curb all around the city, complete with a pink ruler in the gutter in each one.

  28. Selective enforcement is a valid affirmative defense, especially in a case like this where there was no other infraction to justify the “discovery”.

    If I may suggest that Rochester residents go around town and start calling in these same violations when ever and where ever you can find them ( do *not* use 911 ), and make sure to ask when an officer will be dispatched to ticket the offenders.

    When the switch board asks why you are wasting their time, simply explain that you were not aware that crime had fallen to such a level that beat officers were having to be assigned to petty parking enforcement to keep them busy, so you are being a good citizen and attempting to help them keep the good officers employed. Even a couple of hundred of these calls will send a VERY strong message without ever having to make an officer feel “threatened” by your presence.

  29. Ok. I humbly retract everything I said yesterday.

    These guys are pigs of the highest order.

    My opinion has shifted, too. The original incident I thought was an overreaction to what could be perceived as threatening. Policing is dangerous, and I can understand that having people behind your back paying you unusual attention could be unsettling if you were doing that kind of work. But now the police are just being petty. Though I will say, having lived in Rochester, parking enforcement can be pretty aggressive in some parts of town. :-)

    Where do these guys live? How about taking some pink rulers over to their neighborhoods and calling in some violations? I really think the only way to teach these guys a lesson is to make their lives more of a living Hell than the lives of their victims. Maybe need to get creative here

    Sure, that’s real mature.

    1. So you have a beef with taking part in an immediate protest to point out the absurdity of Rochester’s expensive police force not only wasting time, money, and resources on a childish vendetta but harassing citizens to boot? A number of other posters seem pretty immature as well, according to your standards. What is your mature suggestion? Cause the official channels tend to move such grievances along at a glacial pace, if at all. Doing something now to prove a point might be the only option. Please, enlighten us with your greater maturity.

  30. And that does not mean I approve of what these officers are doing, at all.

    While I was one of the few people that didn’t see an overly abusive cop in the last video, this is pretty high up on the petty retaliation level.

    I do agree with Dr. Wadd #8. If this is the work of just this group of cops then something needs to be done by the police chief and mayor to get this worked out. If they are just following orders then you have a much bigger issue on your hands.

    It also doesn’t help that she is talking to them in that sarcastic, we didn’t do anything wrong/we have better morals than you voice. Don’t care it any of that is true or not, because it’s like trying to apply logic to a small child. Either these officers are following order and doing their job, which means you can’t really fault them. A job is more important than what they are doing here…it’s not like they are covering up illegal drug operations or receiving payments under the table. This all really needs to be brought up to the DA and mayor/town council.

    Seeing that street, enforcement of that law is pretty shady in the first place. Where I live the roads are not divided (no lines), really curvy, and with cars parked on both sides it can be tight for two cars to pass each other. So when someone around here takes more than a foot or so it kind of irks me. There I wouldn’t give a rats behind. (On a positive note I rarely ever seen anyone parked away from the curb here. In fact several people will park on the curb just to make sure no one comes close to hitting their car. And I almost wonder if parking on the curb is illegal…not that I do it.)

  31. Is anyone outraged enough to spend $1 in postage? The Rochester Police department is accredited through two organizations:

    New York Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc.
    Headquarters Offices
    2697 Hamburg Street,
    New York 12303


    13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320
    Virginia 20155

    Not that either of these are real organizations, rather than just cops patting one another on the back for cash, but for an extra dollar copies of the complaints could be sent to:

    Letters to the Editor
    Democrat and Chronicle
    55 Exchange Blvd.
    NY 14614-2001

  32. You know, Is there like a list anywhere that tracks how many cops are fired and jailed for any crimes committed while in the force? It seems they 100% of the time get away or get to ‘Quit’ quietly.

  33. Also I wish the woman used yesterday’s rule, Don’t talk to the cops unless you must. Don’t say anything colorful or unnecessary. If you want to talk, talk to yourself away from the cops.

  34. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write a respectful letter to the City Council to investigage and punish if harassment if found.

    Councilmember –
    Councilmember –
    Council President –
    Councilmember –
    Councilmember –
    Council Vice President –
    Councilmember –

    1. I think I’ll buy a bunch of pink rulers and send it to the city council so that when they park they can make sure they’re withing 12″ of the curb. I’m sure they don’t want to be breaking any laws. I’m sure if you had any pink rulers to spare you would do the same.

      And I don’t even live in New York.

  35. Clearly the cops have solved all other crimes, are extremely bored, and need their budgets to be cut dramatically.

  36. To put recent events into terms the young ones will understand:

    Achievement Unlocked: Police State.

  37. I got a fine for this same thing in Oak Park IL, strangely though all the parking spaces have yellow outlines, which I was in, but still more than 12 inches away from the curb. Not to mention we had to pay $400 a year to park there.

  38. “That’s why we need Lulzsec. And Anonymous. And civil disobedience. They’re not the only colors in the palette, but they’re necessary ones.”

    Necessary HOW? What exactly have they done of value? What change have they affected, other than pissing off some consumers and getting a few organizations to patch their web servers?

    If you expect me to believe that they are an equal of Oliver Brown suing the Board of Education of Topeka (which would be that slow hand you seem to dismiss) or that things like the Miranda Warning wouldn’t have happened without a group like Lulzsec, you’re crazy.

    These police are acting like immature children, but that doesn’t mean responding in kind is the only option or even a good option. This is hardly the Bloody Sunday of the first Selma march or the attempted blocking of the Little Rock Nine. If they were truly the full-scale jackbooted thugs so described, they’d do a lot worse than this. Hell, they didn’t even take the cameras in the first video, which they clearly could have. Let’s have some perspective, here.

    1. When you say they “clearly could have” taken the camera in the first video, are you saying that they possessed the brute force to do so, or are you claiming that they had a legal right to?

      Because while I would agree with the former, I don’t believe it would have been legal for them to confiscate the camera. Filming the police is not a crime.

  39. This is so sad and petty it’s ridiculous.

    Welcome to the USA
    Former jurisdiction of the US Constitution

  40. These tickets can be fought in court. I encourage each person who was ticketed to take their case to court, be heard by a judge and demand a trial by jury. Call your local newspapers to cover it.

    Sunlight is you’re only defense against germs.

  41. I sure hope all of the “parking violators” band together and take some action against the PD. Call the ACLU or some organization that deals with high-profile lawsuits and show the PD that they can’t do this. Seems like they are discouraging people from exercising their right to freely associate and protest government, and they cannot possibly argue they’re just doing their job.

  42. Is fighting back against the abuse of power considered a worthwhile cause for the police union?

    Not trying to troll in any way. Just curious as to how far the union can intrude into police matters. You know, standing up for something more than some guy’s pension.

  43. one approach: contact the mayor and ask that these parking violators be pardoned.
    another: contact the ten big law firms in rochester and ask them to defend the parking tickets pro bono. the cops can be brought in on depositions and gently mocked. then you bring in their boss, and their boss’s boss,and so on.
    another: if there’s a ticket, it has the officer’s name on it. a little work should turn up the officer’s name and address. could we get that posted here? i’d like to add the officer to my christmas card list.

  44. one more: somebody could host a fundraiser, with a goal of buying the tickets. say the ticket is for $50? see if we can raise $500 to buy it. that would let the cops know how well their scheme to punish the citizens worked out.

  45. Yet the patrol cars shown in the first 30 or so seconds of the video are all parked within 30 feet of an intersection, public, or private driveway entrance, which just happens to be illegal too unless said vehicles have their emergency lights on.

    The irony is tangible.

  46. I occasionally go to Rochester to visit the Strong Museum, Eastman House, etc. No more. I won’t spend a penny in that corrupt town now.

  47. If someone’s pointed it out before now, I’ve overlooked it. What everyone is missing here is that THE LAWS ARE TOO SUBJECTIVE. The way laws are written in the USA — at EVERY level — are far too stringent. EVERYONE is a criminal, guilty of any number of things at any time. It is within this byzantine maze of laws that the police operate, where they have the immediate and total decision to either charge you with whatever crimes they can think of at the moment, or let you go. The laws must be changed so that there’s a WHOLE LOT LESS leeway. Parking from the curb? An infraction at more than 12″?! Really? I didn’t know that. Let’s make it 24″, or even 36″! Clearly, by then, you’re blocking the road. At that point, subjectivity goes out the window. You’re guilty, and if the police see this, THEY _MUST_ ENFORCE IT. The fact that LEO have so much authority to be subjective about thousands of nitpicky laws is actually what keeps this system in place. Most people shut up about it, hoping to avoid being cited, JUST LIKE IN THIS EXAMPLE. I think we could throw out 90% of the laws currently on the books, and continue with our current society just fine, thank you very much.

  48. Like I said in the other post: First video? 80% her fault, 20% cop. If the cops leave it alone after that, they can just blame it on her “looking for a confrontation” and obstructing, etc. and eventually, it blows over. I’m not saying that she actually was looking for a confrontation. I’m just saying that the PD could allude to that and eventually, it goes away.

    This video? Whoever decided that these cops needed to measure cars = 100% of the blame. This obvious retaliation is only going to turn any public sentiment the cops had over to her side and her settlement (that I always figured she’d go for and maybe get, but now definitely will) probably tripled. I am always amazed at the stupid things people do to prove a point or win a pissing contest. Obvious and stupid, stupid, stupid intimidation.

    Multiple people should be fired over this (Yeah, that’s how far they’ve swung me to the other side), be it a higher up that assigned this, anyone who knew what was happening and didn’t tell them not to, or any of the officers who did this on their own. Fired, if for no other reason, than they are going to cost the city a lot of money in insurance premiums, when the insurance company raises rates to adjust for the settlement they’re going to be paying now.

    Incredibly, bewilderingly stupid.

    1. So now maybe you see the culture of petty power and sense of entitlement that everyone else recognized in the way that the police reacted to being filmed. Same cops, same institutional excess, same self protective reflex, same stupidity.

    2. “Incredibly, bewilderingly stupid.”

      Kind of like defending these idiots in the first place. Even still, you are passively defending them.

  49. Fascists of a feather flock together. Every officer in this should be fired for attempted intimidation and discrimination. To do this where they are and not everywhere is targeting a group of ppl.

  50. This is so much worse than the original video. This CLEARLY is nothing but cops behaving like thugs.

  51. In California, it’s 18 inches from the curb. It seems that Rochester is just draconian down to the bone.

  52. I went to the University of Rochester as an undergrad, and whenever I see Rochester in the news I assume it’s that “other” Rochester in Minnesota – very, very rarely does anyone specify which one they mean (such as in this case).

    That said, though it’s not a bad place to live overall (because of some cultural stuff like the Dryden Theater at the Eastman House – classic movies *every single day* – and the university is quite good), Rochester is kind of a crime-ridden shithole. Its glory days are long over. Though I don’t recall ever having a run-in with the cops while there, I wouldn’t find it at all hard to believe that they’re some of the worst around outside of major cities like NYC and LA.

  53. I didn’t read through all the comments, and thus someone might have already made this point, but: How many violent crimes occurred while these officers were pettily measuring curb-to-tire distances with their pretty pink rulers? Rapes? B&E burglaries? Armed robberies?

  54. This is the definition of doubling down on stupid. You can suggest to Rochester’s police chief that their entrance standards are a tad too easy. Because if these fudgeknuckles didn’t realize what a screwup Mario committed initially, they should really have understood they just registered in the “Douche Hall of Fame” with this bowel move.

    1. Considering this kind of initiative either came from him or will receive tacit approval, why even bother?

      These officers are almost certainly going to receive no punishments from within their department and are probably safe from any form of litigation since that parking ordinance is a law on the books.

  55. Rochester Police retaliate against Emily Good Supporters!

    On Thursday June 23, 2011, while I was attending a community meeting supporting Emily Good, the woman whose video of Rochester cop Mario Masic conducting a traffic stop of an African-American motorist, and which subsequently led to Good’s arrest by Masic, Rochester cops rolled up in a clear attempt to intimidate Good’s supporters.

    The Rochester Police claims to want good community relations with citizens. Chief Shepard has said this on on the media. What the R.P.D. is doing with their petty, childish intimidation attempts because of a rogue cop named Mario Masic being caught on video then violating a woman’s civil rights by falsely arresting her, is they have “poisoned the well” for any possibility of good community relations with citizens. And we, as a community should hold the “upper level of management” accountable for this rogue thug behavior on the part of the Rochester Police. And the persons we as a community need to hold accountable are none other than Rochester Mayor Tom Richards and Rochester Police Chief James Shepard! Chief Shepard along with our new Mayor Tom Richards need to send a clear message to these rogue thug R.P.D. cops that their unlawful and intimidating behavior WILL NOT be tolerated or accepted!

    It is sad that in a city full of crime, and open air drug dealing, that 5 R.P.D. cops would all converge on none other than a location where a support meeting is being held for a woman who captured a criminal cop on video, and that these rogue cops, pull out rulers and give tickets to cars belonging to people at this meeting. It is truly a sad thing for the City of Rochester, New York., which as a result of Emily Good’s unlawful arrest, is already under an international spotlight. Well, at least it’s clear where our tax dollars go!

  56. Well, it seems to me what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and people should implement similar measurements on the Rochester Police Cars and then post pictures of the offending vehicles (with car numbers plainly visible, of course) online. Add to it the other moving violations they commit with impunity and the result could be very interesting.

    Besides, that badge is a holding to a higher standard of the law, not a shield to hide Gestapo behavior behind. So hold them to that higher standard.

  57. This is just absurd. Most definitely harassment. I can’t believe it and possibly would not if I had not seen the video. Police wonder why they are disliked, duh. I do not / did not think you could arrest someone for taping a traffic stop anyway. Is there not enough crime in Rochester?

  58. LOL, Rochester Police, quite embarrassing yourself.

    It’s obvious you can’t even get the guts up

    to look at the camera

    or the woman in the eyes.

    Quit pretending.

    It is not convincing in the slightest, losers.

    Very embarrassing for you.

    Don’t try to hold your heads up high, you can’t. Your conscience won’t allow it.

  59. Attn: Rochester Police department. In light of these Nazi tactics you have used on innocent civilians I have officially cease to give funding and donations to the Fraternal Order of Police and any other Police foundations. When called and asked for my support, I will let them know that it is due to RPD actions that have effectively closed my wallet. I am a small business owner and I have always done my part in support of law enforcement, but these actions are no longer tolerated. I will not allow my company to reward such abusive tactics I urge all Americans that do give money to police funds to stop until RPD corrects this behavior! They are here to protect and serve not to Oppress and Harass.

  60. Can these officers be indicted for harassment and possibly extortion under the RICO act?

    1. the RICO act was meant for the little folks, not cops.

      Lulzsec does requests, right?

      How hard would it be to send a request that they hit the Rochester PD, Rochester Police Locust Club, and the personal website of Mario Masic? I can see this working on so many levels:

      (good will of the net, intel gathered, retaliation for censorship, etc.)

  61. Great reading here. Fascists, thugs, draconian. Good grief. What’s Syria, then? Ms. Good is well within her rights to videotape police even if they don’t like it. And certainly she can hold a supportive meeting which they like even less. Pissy cops are well within their right to ticket illegally parked cars. Of course, it’s payback. Chickenshit, but legal on the face of it. Fascism, heh. If media pressure doesn’t cause the City Council to drop the tix, the folks should fight ’em in court. Time-consuming pita, though.

    1. I always love it when some jackass brings up some totalitarian regime thousands of miles away to take away from the gravity of having one right here at home. “AT LEAST WE’RE NOT SYRIA (North Korea, Communist China, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, etc.)” is not the metric by which I want my nation judged.

  62. In fairness, you have to be some kind of an idiot if you cannot park your car closer than 12″ to the curb!

    1. In fairness, any idiot can see that his isn’t about whether you have the ability to park closer to the curb or not. This is about whether one expects to have this particular law enforced just then. It’s true that this is ticketable offense, but in truth it’s also rarely enforced except when cars parked away from the curb represent a safety issue.

      There are so many ways one can get a fix-it ticket, or a parking violation, I’d be surprised if a cop couldn’t find a reason to give you a ticket if he really wants to. And that’s what this is about, REALLY wanting to, and sending a “don’t fuck with us” message in the process.

  63. Someone should go to one of the more affluent neighborhoods of Rochester (within City police jurisdiction) and look for cars parked on the street, measure their distances from the curbs (as discreetly as possible). If there are any cars parked more than 12 inches from the curb they should call the police demanding that proper parking be enforced…in the interest of public safety of course. It’s graduation party time so it might not be that hard to find this type of parking situation.

  64. the sheer number of laws makes it impossible for you to not be infringing upon one at any time… if they want to haul you in over the coals… there’s a law out theore on the books they can do it with… in fact, it would not surprise me if there weren’t any laws that contradicted each other where complying with one law means you’re breaking another…

  65. how did that cop with the arm sleeve tattoo get a policeman’s job. I feel slightly intimidated by some thug wearing a uniform ;)

  66. This is how a Police State works.
    Virtually everyone is made into a “criminal” by a system of laws so complex none can even count them all.
    Then these laws are selectively enforced against the Police State’s opposition, while gregarious violations of other laws are never enforced against its allies.

    Now “go with the flow” or get your’s, “taxpayers”.

  67. These cops are clearly engaging in selective enforcement for the purpose of harassing citizens for exercising their First Amendment liberties. Officers with this little regard for the Constitution and the rule of law they are sworn to uphold do not belong on the police force. They should be fired.

    This kid of renegade cop behavior is becoming increasingly common and is largely unchallenged as the US devolves into a fascist police state.

    “Discriminatory Enforcement – To prove selective enforcement a defendant must also show that the purposeful, intentional decision to concentrate enforcement upon him was based upon an unjustifiable and arbitrary standard such as race or religion, or upon a desire to inhibit First Amendment freedoms.”

  68. Lets just say while she was filming the incident that the guy who got pulled over whipped out a gun and started firing shots. What if one of those shots hit Ms. Good in the head and killed her. What would be the outcry then.

    1. What if she got shot while NOT holding a camera? She was only singled out and arrested because she had the camera.

      Speculation gets you nowhere. Stick to the facts.

  69. I am curious why my post which suggested a perfectly legal and defensible way of giving the officer that started all this mess a dose of his own medicine was removed from here. Is it okay to complain about stuff like this but any suggestions of positive actions that can be taken in protest are forbidden? Or was the inclusion of a link to a freeper site where all the info on the cop is contained what earned the rubout?

    I would hope Boing Boing has a greater commitment to free speech and direct, legal action against injustice than the Free Republic, but I might be wrong. I see you have no problem posting the victim’s name and her video for all the world to see. Is the offender here entitled to some kind of special consideration?

    1. • Please don’t include e-mail addresses, physical addresses, or phone numbers in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion, or for the purpose of harassing or publicly exposing the private data of others. Such comments will be redacted or removed.

      Although you didn’t actually give his contact info, your comment was clearly intended to incite readers to harass him via his other business. That’s not allowable.

      Feel free to incite readers to complain to his police supervisor by linking to their website.

      1. Thanks for your speedy reply, Antinous.

        My comment was not “clearly intended” to incite readers to harass him at his place of business. What I clearly suggested was that readers in Rochester discover if this business was legal or not, or was otherwise in violation of local statutes (like the noise ordinance) and if so, report that to the local authorities and insist on enforcement, the goal being to demonstrate that the enforcement of laws works both ways.

        I liken this to an incident I had with an overzealous cop handing out tickets at an old job that was on an isolated, out of the way street. After getting a ticket, I told the cop to tell his colleagues not to “coop,” or sleep alongside the building at night, as I would be taking videos from then on and if they wanted to know why, you can tell them it was your fault. He left us alone after that. Was I “harassing” the cop here, or applying the same standard to him that he applied to my coworkers and me? This is the same thing.

        There was no call for harassment here, only a call for local citizens to discover if a law is being violated and then insist that the law be applied evenly. This is no more “harassment” then it would be to discover if the cops who wrote the tickets were violating the law through selective enforcement and encouraging people to complain about it.

  70. If you look carefully at around 29 seconds into the video, you see a cop car illegally blocking either a private drive or a public roadway. It does not have its lights on, yet it is blocking traffic. Also, another cop car in the background may be more than 12 inches from the curb. These guys are revolting human beings.

  71. What a WASTE of taxpayer dollars! What a waste of city resources! Instead of complaining about this here, call the Rochester city hall and say you’ve seen the video of Rochester police retaliating against citizens and say specifically that this is a waste of taxpayer money. Call for an investigation. Mention that this is going viral and they need to act before it REALLY gets out of hand. Try to reach someone on the city council and point this out as an example of government waste. If enough people do this, we can actually make a difference here!

  72. Good work folks! Keep harassing them right back!

    People need to start giving them guff when they try and do things like order food, get gas, shopping.. make their lives as difficult as possible..force them to get a real job or behave

  73. The bad guys are already polarized against the police.
    (I know, I was a police officer for eighteen years)
    The police depend on the goodwill of the people for information, for cooperation, for support … and for votes when tax levies are placed on the ballot.
    Not to mention balloting on judges and mayors who may be more or less favorable to the police.
    The bad guys are already polarized and united against the police.
    They have enough enemies.
    The police don’t need to go out of their way to make enemies of the honest citizens.

  74. absolutely disgusting.

    every one of these cops should be fired on the spot. plain and simple.

    if they showed up to intimidate in this fashion, imagine what they do off the radar.


  75. Wow, what a shame. This is what our tax dollars a paying for, it only proves how corrupt, racist and unethical the Rochester Police (Rochester NY) are. The Chief should resign and every officer should be fined or fired. Even in the military we are allowed to say no to orders that are given to assert fear based on harassment or unjust.
    What are we coming to; with this type of behavior from the Rochester Police force can only create discontent and violence against themselves as being seen as “thugs” which is what they are acting like. You are here to PROTECT and SERVE the PEOPLE not intimidate them, humiliate them or perform any other act that is viewed as “gang related.
    You are no better then the gangs that push their drugs, murder, rape and much more; you are undeserving to wear that uniform you’re a PLIGHT on our community. What’s next, will you start using your Tazer Guns on insistent people that question what you are doing or if you just fill like it? Only last year one of your officers used his on a mentally handicapped child in Victor (NY), these officers are the ones we are counting on to protect us, looks like were safer with the criminals at least we know what to expect.

  76. Christ, what assholes.

    Shouldn’t the police try at least a little bit to keep the goodwill of the people they’re supposed to protect and serve? Or are they too busy turning into a street gang to care anymore?

    I remember my father introducing me to one of our town’s policemen and telling me I could always go to him if I had a problem. My son is three years old now, and unless there are drastic changes in the coming years, what I’m going to tell him about police officers is going to involve keeping his mouth shut, writing down badge numbers, and getting audio or video evidence of the interaction.

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