Rochester Police Department (RPD) officers have been given permission to cover up their names displayed on their tags to avoid harassment from left-wing protesters, who are screaming out their home addresses, kids’ names and schools, and making taunting calls to their parents in front of them. They are also spreading personal information about the cops via social media.
“The past couple of months officers names have been researched by protesters to put personal information out to the public, putting the safety of their families in jeopardy,” said a statement from RPD Chief La’Ron Singletary, who announced his resignation earlier this week.
“Officers have been allowed to remove their name tags in an effort to prevent their personal information from being spread on social media,” Singletary added.
Local radio show host and journalist Bob Lonsberry posted via Twitter on Thursday: “Peaceful protesters have stood outside the [Rochester] Public Safety Building, read an officer’s name off his uniform, tracked him down on their phones, and called his parents to taunt them. Or held up the phone to show the officer his home address and threaten to come after him there.”
Peaceful protesters have stood outside the #ROC Public Safety Building, read an officer's name off his uniform, tracked him down on their phones, and called his parents to taunt them. Or held up the phone to show the officer his home address and threaten to come after him there.
— Bob Lonsberry (@BobLonsberry) September 11, 2020
Singletary had his statement read by City Council Chief of Staff Robert Scanlon during a briefing with Democrat Mayor Lovely Warren and city council members on Wednesday. The police chief did not attend the meeting in person.
WHAM 1180 similarly reported Thursday on the actions from the protesters, noting that “Deputy Chief Morabito says he has seen this (harassment) happen in real time”:
City Council members questioning why Rochester Police Officers covered their names and sometimes badge numbers at the series of nightly protests were told it was for the officer’s protection.
Chief Singletary says protesters are Googling officer names and spreading information about them and their families on social media. Deputy Chief Morabito says he has seen this happen in real time, with protesters calling family members of officers right in front of them and threatening to come to their homes. He says he personally gave his officers permission to cover their name tags.
On Tuesday, Rochester native Chief Singletary and his entire RPD command staff announced their resignations.
“As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character,” said the announcement from Singletary, according to News 10 WHEC. “The events over the past week are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity. The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for. The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for.”
Protesters have perpetrated violence in the city during protests concerning the death of Daniel Prude, who interacted with RPD officers back in March and died about a week later.
An autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to WXXI News, listed Prude’s cause of death as “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint due to excited delirium due to acute phencyclidine intoxication,’ an indication that Prude might have been high on PCP.”
The news outlet highlighted that police reports indicate Prude had apparently “gone on a destructive tear,” “smashing out the windows of several storefronts, and ranting about having the coronavirus” before police came in contact with him.