Protesters call for Webster supervisor’s resignation, police body cameras, anti-racist training

Local News

WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Protesters in Webster are calling for supervisor Tom Flaherty to resign as well as other changes after a series of protests in town.

Being Black in the Burbs is a group dedicated to fighting racism is the suburbs. With Webster currently in the spotlight, founder Tiffany Porter said this is just the beginning of making change.

Porter said they just want Webster to move towards being systemically anti-racist through recreational programs and training but said it goes deeper than that.

“Anti-racist living is a lifestyle it’s not a training then you’re done or reading a couple books, it’s a way of life. We’re also asking for the resignation of Tom Flaherty, he should not be in a leadership position that he’s in,” Porter said.

She said the group started protesting in Webster after a post Flaherty made stating he didn’t agree with the protests happening in front of Sandra Doorley’s house. In the post, he said he agreed with their message but not their method.

“We are no longer taking the bare minimum, we want change and we want it now so protesting is one way to get them talking but then sitting down and discussing how we go forward moving their community towards that,” Porter said.

Porter said the group’s other goals include a firm timeline on a police body camera system, anti-racist training for officers, and dropping protester charges from a recent event. Webster police said this in a statement to News 8:

1.  Body cameras-  The Webster Police Department has body cameras deployed in the field now.  We are in the process of testing models and manufacturers.  The body camera program will be fully rolled out as soon as possible.  

2.  Webster Police Officers meet or exceed all state mandated training requirements.  New training offerings and training requirements are often rolled out through NYS DCJS (NYS Department of Criminal Justice Services).  

3.  Protests in Webster- We are referring all inquiries about the protests, the arrests made on October 12 and the police response to our press release from Monday, October 12.  We posted that document on our Facebook page and it is still accessible there.  Anyone interested in learning more about those arrests can obtain the complaints by visiting Town Court or by following the case through Town Court.  We support and encourage the exercise of first amendment rights to speak and peacefully assemble.  The Chief invites protesters to contact him ahead of their events.  We will help you find a safe place to hold your event so you can share your message with the Webster community.   People also have a right to conduct their affairs free of unsafe interruptions and the Webster Police Department will intervene when conditions become unsafe due to blocked traffic, loitering on private property or other unlawful activities.  

News 8 reached out to supervisor Flaherty and most town board members but they didn’t immediately returned our request for comment.

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