ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley offers her thoughts on the unrest that has spread across the county, including Rochester.
She follows similar thoughts by Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Providence Crowder and Frederick Douglass descendant Kenneth Morris, Jr.
Here’s the script of her message:
Good evening, my name is Sandra Doorley and I am your Monroe County District Attorney. I want to thank Channel 8 WROC and Adam Chodak for inviting me to address the community this evening. On behalf of the 140 prosecutors and employees of the DA’s Office who work as public servants for the people of Monroe County, we believe it is important for law enforcement to be open, honest and transparent. First I want to tell you, I hear you. This community is hurting, this country is hurting. The lives of black, indigenous and people of color have been hurting for generations. I recognize this and want to move forward as part of the solution that brings us together, rather than further divide us. I have received numerous letters and emails regarding the state of our community. Calls for change and growth. Demands for immediate reviews of police policies and New York State Law. Let me take this opportunity to share what we are doing at the Monroe County DA’s Office as prosecutors to help rid our criminal justice system of its historical implicit bias that has helped contribute to doubt and distrust. Here in Monroe County, I am proud of the well-vetted 80 Assistant District Attorneys who are thoroughly trained to review 12-15,000 misdemeanor cases and 5,000 felony cases that come into our office every year. Each ADA reviews every case for any type of discrimination and racial bias and has the discretion to dismiss cases as they see fit. I also personally review every felony case that is indicted or No Billed by a Grand Jury. I am proud that these attorneys have received implicit bias training as part of their continuing legal education but more robust training is needed. Going forward, I plan to expand this training in the months ahead.
To many, this isn’t enough. As the upcoming President of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, I look forward to working with DAs across the State and my government and police partners to further explore opportunities for statewide change and understanding. Locally, I am so proud of this community. There have been dozens of peaceful protests in recognition of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. These protestors are using their voices for change so they can live, work and raise families in a community of which they can be proud. That being said, to the handful of individuals who took advantage of this peaceful call for change on May 30 to incite fear, steal and damage property, I have every intention to prosecute your actions in a court of law. The public safety of Monroe County has and always will be my first priority. Although I am proud of the work of my office, I am not ignorant to the reality of racial bias in the criminal justice system. I assure you, although not perfect, I will not stop trying to train and evolve as a prosecutor until we can live up to our ideals of justice for all.