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State police investigating alleged racial comments at a Back the Blue Rally

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MACEDON, N.Y. (WROC) — State police are investigating after a woman from Sodus Point posted a video showing rally-goers calling her racial slurs at a ‘Back the Blue Rally’ over the weekend.

The woman, an army veteran, was there to show support but instead says she was targeted because of her skin color.

Now she is speaking out in an effort to start conversation about racism.

The rally started in Bullis Park in Macedon before heading over to Sodus Point. It was there where Tatyanna Conner was waiting. As a three year army veteran, she said she came out to show support.

“I don’t agree with the excessive force or anything, but I do agree with having police and that’s why I went,” said Conner.

Conner was recording a video as the group passed when she says some driving by began yelling racial slurs at her, using the n-word and asking her to ‘take a knee.’

“At that point I was kinda shaken I didn’t really feel like I was safe there,” said Conner.

She posted the video to social media where it was shared by many who called the incident shocking.

A member of the Concerned Citizens of Wayne County was shocked when she watched the video, and said it shows that racism is still around.

On that time, on that day, we almost felt like as what we’ve been doing been making an impact if something like this can still happen in our county,” said Rachel Khauka, Concerned Citizens of Wayne County.

Assemblyman Brian Manktelow was at the rally and said after seeing the video, he personally called Conner to apologize. Manktelow believes the comments were from a few bad apples, and not reflective of the whole event.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office called for state police to investigate the incident and said in a statement, “It is disgusting that anyone would use hateful language at a rally, in public, or in private conversation.”

Rally organizers didn’t respond to News 8 for a comment, but Conner said they apologized to her directly — the first step in building relations. 

“I feel like there is a really big divide. It’s either you support all lives matter, police lives, or Black lives. There’s no in between, and I’m in that in between, and I feel like there should be a conversation to get it well known that we can all work together,” said Conner.

Conner believes it wasn’t the intention of the rally organizers to have those comments yelled at her, but she does believe it’s important to share her story so that we can began having conversations. 

A investigation into that video is ongoing.

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