Public meeting focuses on Kokopellis incident - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Public meeting focuses on Kokopellis incident

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Letter from Pastor Willie Bacote to the State Attorney General and US Attorney's Office. (NEWS10 ABC) Letter from Pastor Willie Bacote to the State Attorney General and US Attorney's Office. (NEWS10 ABC)
Still from fight. (NEWS10 ABC) Still from fight. (NEWS10 ABC)

TROY, N.Y. -- A public safety committee meeting was held Tuesday night to focus on the brawl involving police at Kokopellis in Troy over a week ago.

Community members marched to the meeting stating their message to end police brutality in the wake of the scuffle inside the night club.

The city council is expected to hold several meetings on the incident to get the perspective of everyone involved. About 200 people came out for Tuesday night's Troy City Council's Public Safety Committee meeting.

Councilman Bob Doherty said the meeting was a chance to look at the big picture for the city and search out where improvements can be made on either side of the issue.

So many people planned to attend, that council members moved the meeting from City Hall to the Christ Church United Methodist.

After attendants spoke about what they believe was police brutality, the bar's co-owner Barry Glick agreed.

In a letter from Pastor Willie Bacote to the State Attorney General and U.S. Attorney's Office, he cited four other alleged incidents where people have claimed police brutality.

Bacote asked for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to conduct an audit of the Troy Police Departments processes, including an examination and analysis of use of force and a pattern of discriminatory practices. 

"I'm believing that we can come to the table, dialogue and find out what went wrong and begin to right the wrongs and to move on and make this city a better place for everybody to live in," he said.

In response to the letter, Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia said he stands by officers in regards to the Kokopellis incident.

In a release last week, the owners of Kokopellis said that the "scuffle" that police responded to had already been solved and security staff had already "re-established order." The business said they have been invited by the Troy City Council to make a statement at Tuesday's public meeting. 

Troy Police Department issued the following statement in response:

"Our investigation is in progress and information relative to the event is helpful to our investigators. Mr. Glick's account represents a witness perspective and we will welcome it as information which may assist us as we move forward in investigating the facts and circumstances of Saturday's incident. The value of Mr. Glick's statements will be evaluated and measured against the strong physical evidence we have in our possession."

Troy Police previously released the transcript as well as audio clips of the 911 calls made from Kokopellis when the fight first broke out.

Two calls were made at 2:37 a.m. describing a large fight inside the bar and moving outside. One caller said more than 100 people were involved.

Activists who spoke wanted the officers involved suspended, but Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said there was "absolutely no credible evidence to suspend anyone at this point in time." He did, however, support the activists' demand for an independent investigation into the incident.

Currently, the investigation is being handled internally. 

The next committee meeting will be Wednesday, February 12.

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