By Davy V.
Rick Palermo and his friends had gone to Rochester NY’s East End night district to celebrate his friend’s birthday.
Palermo would have never imagined that a night that began on such a happy note, would end with him being thrown on a city sidewalk, by at least 5 Rochester, NY Police officers, where he was assaulted, including being kneed, and punched, as his own mother pleaded with the officers to stop beating her son.
“That night replays in my mind, and up until recently I was scared to come forth with any information because I couldn’t find a lawyer who would take my civil rights case against the RPD”, explains Palermo.
“Luckily there was someone who was there that night who videotaped the whole incident which now serves to be just a painful reminder to me of how they treated me and what they did to me.”
“Myself and four of my close friends all went out for one of my friend’s twenty first birthday”, said Palermo.
“It was the same week as the Rochester International Jazz Festival, so there was extra security on hand that night. My mother and her husband were downtown at the Jazz Festival when her, and her husband met us out. We were at Coyote Joes on the corner of east and Alexander and stayed until closing time which was 2 am.”
“As we were making our way out and started to walk on the sidewalk towards our car, I had seen an ex-girlfriend of mine who had never met my mother, so we stopped and I introduced her to my mom. The guy she was with did not like that she was talking to me, so he grabbed her arm and said ‘Come on let’s go’. She refused to do what he said at that exact moment so I said ‘She will be with you in a moment buddy”, said Palermo.
“As soon as I said that the other guy walked up to me and pushed me saying ‘Fuck you!”, so I said ‘Fuck you’ back to him, and we were in the middle of a crowd of people.”
“The situation never got physical and actually my mom grabbed my arm and sad ‘Honey let’s go!’, so I screamed out one last time towards the the other guy as I was walking away, and that’s when all hell broke lose. The next thing I knew I was being ran up on by five Rochester Police officers. They pinned me up against the fence of Coyote Joes, and continued to punch, kick, and knee me on all areas of my body.”
“Once they threw me to the pavement I was lying there face first on the concrete, while two officers were pinning their knees onto the back of both my legs, and one officer kneed me in my face three times until I became nearly unconscious. All I can remember from that night was my poor mother begging and pleading for the officers to stop doing this to her son because I didn’t deserve it, and all they could say to my mom was ‘Get back before we arrest you!
“They threw me in the back of the squad car and left me there with my hands cuffed behind my back and no window open in the middle of the summer night heat, for over an hour. I was bleeding pretty bad from my right eyebrow area due to the repetition of knees to the face and I also had gash marks to the middle of my back from being punched by an officer who wrapped his handcuffs around his hand and used them in a brass knuckle, type manner on me.”
Rochester, NY Police also illegally searched Palermo’s friend’s car, as can be see in the video above.
That officer, looks a lot like RPD officer Aaron Brown
Palermo was treated at the hospital for injuries sustained in the assault by Rochester Police.
In addition to multiple contusions and abrasions, Palermo also reinjured his shoulder, which he had undergone surgery for prior to the assault by RPD.
“I got a full scholarship straight out of high school to play football at Connecticut State and had some issues with my shoulder about two months prior to being assaulted by RPD officers, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left shoulder, and earlier, the same day of the incident, I was cleared to take my sling off.”
“No one deserves to be treated that way”, said Palermo, who says his mother, seen in the video holding a rose he bought her, and his father, who works for the Rochester, NY Fire department, were furious over how Rochester Police officers abused their son.
Some may ask why am I even writing about an incident which happened several years ago.
The answer is simple.
For many being abused and assaulted by a law enforcement officer, the emotional pain lasts longer than any physical pain sustained as a result of being beaten.
In fact, the emotional scars that come with being violated by those whose job is to uphold the law, serve and protect, can be overwhelming.
Much like the trauma a rape victim has to live with, including the feeling that comes knowing their body has been violated, as well as the fear of having to confront their abuser in court, or run into them in public, police abuse victims endure similar effects, from the fear of retaliation by police if they take action, to knowing that in many cases, the officers will get away with it, simply because they are police officers.
For a man, it can be even harder to come to terms with, especially in a society which subscribes to the “be tough” and “don’t show any emotion” attitude when it comes to men, and frowns on a man showing any emotion, or showing we are human.
Also, Richard Palermo represents one of countless victims of police brutality, whose stories never make headlines.
Richard Palermo also represents one of countless victims of police brutality who live with the emotional pain of not only having been a used and violated by those who are supposed to protect us all, but also knowing that the officers in his incident got away with it.
What also interested me in telling Palermo’s story, was something he told me which I found almost as equally disturbing as the incident in which RPD officers beat him.
When I asked Palermo if he brought a civil case against the City of Rochester and the Rochester, NY Police department, his reply was unfortunately something I have heard much too often.
Palermo said no lawyer wanted to take the case.
“One lawyer, Felix Lapine said no, and he said no one would want to go against the City of Rochester.”
Unfortunately, he was right.
Palermo tried other attorneys, and not one of them wanted to go against the City of Rochester, or the Rochester, NY Police department.
After all, like I always say, at the end of the day, the RPD is gang.
A gang with uniforms, badges, and guns.
Rochester’s biggest gang.
Follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/davyvara
More than 5 Years Later, Man Still Can’t Watch Video of him Being Assaulted by Rochester, NY Police officers, as his Mother Pleaded with Them to Stop Beating her Son is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights