Police Say They Were Wrong to Arrest Emily Good

ROCHESTER, NY - Rochester Police now say they were wrong to arrest Emily Good in May. Two separate investigations into the case have resulted in changes in the department and more training for officers.


On Friday Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard agreed with a judge's decision to drop charges against Good for obstruction of governmental administration. An officer arrested her after filming him and another officer making a routine traffic stop in front of her home. "Based on what was expressed what was viewed it was not appropriate," Chief Sheppard said in a press conference.

Sheppard still maintains his officer acted professionally and courteous that night but says he should have handled the situation better. Now, Sheppard's changing police policies and having officers undergo more training about the charge. He's even starting another investigation into all OGA charges made since 2010.

While Good's arrest is what many focus on, it's other officers' decision to ticket her supporters the next month that bothers the chief and Mayor Tom Richards. Sheppard wouldn't call it retaliation, but he said they were out of line. "We're gong to make mistakes and that's fine," Sheppard said. "We'll deal with mistakes, but when you're heart is in the wrong place that's a problem. That's a problem that I will not accept."

The tickets were all legal, but Sheppard decided to void them. He also removed the commanding officer of the division. Plus, all officers involved in issuing the tickets underwent additional training and counseling. Sheppard and Richards now hope to put the issue behind the department. "The police are not infallible," Richards said. "They're not immune from judgment. Still in all we need to work with them to develop the effective, fair and respectful force that we need."

Both Sheppard and Richards say the investigations were done without a formal complaint from Good. They say she and her supporters refused to cooperate in the investigations.



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