On May 1, Benny Warr was waiting for the bus in his wheelchair at the intersection of Bartlett St. and Jefferson Ave., near his home. As he was waiting for the bus, a Rochester police cruiser rolled up to the intersection. The officers exited the car and told Warr, to move on. Warr responded by saying he was only waiting for the bus.
According Warr, the officers then maced him in the face and proceeded to throw him out of his chair where he was kicked, punched, and kneed by police while on the ground. Witnesses at the scene corroborate his description of incident.
He was put in handcuffs for nearly two hours until he received care at Strong Memorial Hospital for his injuries. He sustained broken and fractured ribs, numbness in his hands, neck injuries, internal injuries, and cuts on his wrists.
In the early morning hours of May 2, he was released and given an appearance ticket. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The incident was videotaped by a bystander and posted on YouTube.com. Rochester.Indymedia,org published the original video in a higher resolution format here: http://blip.tv/indy-tv/corrected-higher-res-video-of-benny-warr-being-attacked-6587434
On May 18th, over 150 concerned citizens from all over the City gathered at a rally to show support for Benny Warr and to call for an end to police brutality by the Rochester police department. This petition is an extension of that rally.
Therefore, we the undersigned demand:
1. The district attorney drop all charges against Benny Warr.
2. All officers involved in the arrest be fired from the police force.
3. The police department issue a public apology to Benny Warr.
4. The RPD clarify protocols for arresting people with disabilities.
5. End racial profiling & the criminalization of neighborhoods of color
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!