Victims Claim Police "Indifference"

Anti-Gay Hate Crime Spurs Copper Lawsuit

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The Rochester Police Department’s found itself on the other side of the law. Four men and women have filed a suit against the coppers – and the Monroe Sheriff’s Department – claiming the boys in blue treated them unfairly after an anti-gay attack.

Not only did authorities allegedly treat the alleged victims with “deliberate indifference,” but the lawsuit claims the injured parties were mocked. One woman claims they called her a “drunken dyke”. Nice…

The original attack occurred on June 1st, when a four hooligans allegedly attacked a mixed group of gays and straights. As in most anti-gay attacks, the thugs are said to have said some nasty anti-gay epithets. Responding to the scene, coppers admit to apprehending the suspects and letting them go. When the bloodied victims objected, cops arrested them.

Though the police department admitted their mistake and have launched an internal investigation, Dave Greenlaw, Josh Lieberman, Megan Barrett and Christine Herrick want justice. Democrat and Chronicle reports:

The lawsuit – filed by Dave Greenlaw, Josh Lieberman, Megan Barrett and Christine Herrick – states that law enforcement “treated the plaintiff’s complaints of harassment differently from other types of harassment for an extended period of time, thus failing to protect the plaintiffs.”

At one point, Greenlaw called 911, complaining that police weren’t doing anything. A sheriff’s deputy responded, according to the lawsuit but, once told of the situation, said nothing could be done and left.

One officer is identified by last name only in the lawsuit, but alternate spellings are provided and the officer’s identity could not be confirmed.

Christina A. Agola, attorney for the alleged victims, said her clients asked for badge numbers that morning “and were told, ‘Look at our car.'”

Agola said the lawsuit would be amended to include the assault suspects once they are known. Police identified the suspects last week but have not released their identities.

Rochester Police Officer Deidre Taccone and Municipal Attorney Jeffrey Eichner declined comment on the lawsuit Monday, having yet to see the document.

[Cpl. John Helfer] said the Sheriff’s Office has not been contacted by either police or the FBI as part of those offices’ investigations.

Police may not be cooperating, but the alleged victims have at least one ally: City Councilman Bill Pritchard.

Pritchard’s insisted on an investigation into the night in question, saying,

I will not rest until I know with certainty all appropriate action has been taken… Your city government is on top of this, the mayor’s office, the police department, the chief of police, myself, the city council, the council president. Your city government is being very responsive and taking immediate action to investigate what happened.

Hopefully the lawyers can get to the bottom of it. Obviously the city’s incapable.