Frustrated Rochester Police Chief Addresses His ‘No Comment’
Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson has found himself at the center of the controversy surrounding a $1 million settlement with a former Police Department Lieutenant and unable to address the many critics of the negotiated deal.
Much of the discussion during his most recent visit to the KROC-AM studio on Monday focused on that issue and Chief Peterson's frustration over a state law preventing him, and other city officials from responding to allegations leveled against himself and the police department.
Ellie Umpierre, who has the distinction of the being the first woman to serve as a Rochester Police Officer and the first woman promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Rochester Police Department worked alongside Chief Peterson for decades. She was placed on leave last year after making some Facebook posts about excessive force by police and Chief Peterson later recommended her termination, citing her Facebook posts and a complaint about suspected racial bias by white police officers in an employment decision. Umpierre later filed a complaint with the state Human Rights Department, alleging bias and retaliation.
A state law designed to protect the privacy of public sector employees prevents local officials from fully addressing Umpierre's claims, even those made after the settlement was finalized. The YouTube video at the top of this post illustrates the Police Chief's frustrations and includes his views on what he considers the short-comings of the existing data privacy statute.