Troy mayor issues statement on Kokopellis incident

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Updated: 1/27 10:44 pm

TROY, N.Y. – Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia issued a statement Monday to address a weekend assault that ended with six people under arrest and several officers injured.

The Troy Police Chief and Captain, as well as Troy City Council met with the Mayor on Monday to discuss the incident at Kokopellis over the weekend and claims of police brutality. Rosamilia said a detective has been assigned to the case and the investigation will continue.

Six were arrested and eight officers were injured after Troy Police responded to a reported assault at Kokopellis on Fourth Street early Saturday morning.

Cell phone and surveillance footage of the incident have many in Troy speaking out. 

Joe Glick, the co-owner of Kokopellis said "An officer came in and pointed his billy club at me, and said ‘You shut this F****** party down now.’"

Glick said he’s never seen police act the way he says they did over the weekend.

"We are appalled by the behavior that occurred in our club Saturday morning,” said Glick.

Troy Mayor Louis Rosamilia said when police responded to the assault call at Kokopellis, it immediately got hostile.

“They were faced with aggressive behavior,” said Rosamilia.

He said that as police attempted to address the call, they began to get attacked.

"Pepper spray was used by some patrons, glass bottles were thrown at some officers, a fire extinguisher was discharged, and a garbage can was thrown into a patrol car,” continued Rosamilia.

Partygoers and witnesses believe police used excessive force against 25-year-old Roshawon Donley. Donley was arrested and charged with Harassment, Resisting Arrest and Obstructing Governmental Administration.

Troy Councilman Rodney Wiltshire is demanding a full investigation into the incident.

Rashad Thomas, 22, said he was outside of Kokopellis when police attacked him.

"They slam me on the ground, you see I got my pavement all,  they just had me on the ground for more than like three minutes just really beating me and knees all in my back all that everything."

He said he was not doing anything wrong but police say he was engaged in a fight and refused to put his hands behind his back. Thomas said police used excessive force. He was in court Monday and his case was adjourned so he can be provided with a lawyer.

Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said "There’s a lot of emotion that are on both sides of the aisles with this, in the department, out of the department. Everybody stay calm; let us look at all the relevant evidence and we'll go from there.”

As the investigation continues, some call for those officers involved to be removed from duty.

Pastor Willie Bacote said "We are asking for their suspension until this investigation is complete."

People are also asking for an external investigation to review the incident.

"We're not attacking the Troy Police Department, we're attacking the individuals that did these acts against these people in the City of Troy,” said Pastor Willie Bacote.

Rosamilia said "This is not the image that we want to portray for the City of Troy, this is not what Troy is all about, Troy is on a very positive track, and we want to keep that momentum going.”

Tedesco said he has no plans to suspend any officers involved until the investigation requires him to do so.  He also said there are no plans for an external investigation unless the current one requires them to do so as well.

According to the police spokesperson, officers encountered "heavy physical resistance and were exposed to a crowd of approximately 200-250 persons." Officers were allegedly subject to kicking, punching, pepper spray, and a fire extinguisher sprayed at them.

Authorities say a garbage can was thrown outside the business, striking an officer and breaking out the rear window of a Troy Police patrol unit. Officers requested assistance from the New York State Police, Green Island, Watervliet, Menands, Colonie and the Cohoes Police Departments.

Residents believe Troy Police have used excessive force for years in their community and will discuss the issue at a meeting titled Enough is Enough at the Missing Link Street Ministry at 6 p.m. Monday.


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