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Letter: Stimulus Bucks Spent Alienating Community (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

To the editor:

It is disheartening and disappointing that stimulus dollars are going to support the city’s dubious Zero Tolerance initiative.

Sen. Charles Schumer has secured funding for police tactics that alienate low-income communities and communities of color while community service organizations in the very same neighborhoods struggle to keep their doors open. Police Chief David Moore would have us believe this program is working, yet the only proof we see is a criminal justice system bogged down with people facing minor offenses. Even worse is that the targets of this policy would not be facing these petty charges if they lived in different neighborhoods. The wedge that has been driven between the people and the police has not been worth the cost; we do not need more money to drive the wedge deeper.

Aggressive, overzealous policing policies that violate individual rights have no place. Let us use our stimulus dollars to fund programs that empower and strengthen Rochester’s communities.

Rosemary Rivera
Board Member, Genesee Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union

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