“I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see, I couldn’t think, I was seeing stars I didn’t even believe that was true but it is,” said Phyllis Harmon.
Harmon says she was assaulted by two Rochester police officers back in 2013. While her case is still working it’s way through the federal court system. She has been working to advocate for more police accountability.
“My whole life has changed, I don’t want this to ever ever happen to anyone,” said Harmon.
Jessenia Edgerston, another city resident, says her husband was the victim of police brutality as well, and has also filed a lawsuit against RPD. Edgerston says the police accountability board is a great idea, but the drafted city council legislation doesn’t have any teeth.
“What we have now in place since 1964 has been cosmetic we don’t need cosmetic we don’t need make up on the city we need true transparency and true equality,” said Edgerston.
The police accountability board alliance is pushing for their original requests to city council which include subpoena power, the ability to run independent investigations, and disciplinary power.
City council member Loretta Scott says this was all premature given that it’s currently just a draft.
Scott says, “It is the beginning of a process not the end it is not the final legislation we actually were looking forward to having the opportunity to sit with them and work out whatever the differences are we know with the five pillars are we have been looking at this for months.”