RPD union asks court to delay start of disciplinary file database


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- The union of Rochester police officers sued the city of Rochester, asking the court to delay the release of hundreds of disciplinary files of police officers.

The mayor's office calls this an '11th-hour attempt by the police union to keep people in the dark.' It called the lawsuit 'without merit.'

The union says there are all kinds of problems in the files and in accessing the files to vet them.

Mike Mazzeo, President Rochester Police Locust Club: 'We're not seeking to stop the release of this information. We're only looking at a reasonable time to review and to make sure the information is correct and reasonable.'

After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature decided disciplinary files of police officers should be public documents.

In July, the city of Rochester said it was going to create a database so people wouldn't have to ask for individual files.

Monday, the Locust Club filed a petition asking the court to postpone the start.

Brean: 'What kind of problems are you seeing the cases you've already looked at?'

Mike Mazzeo: 'Problems, first of all, not being able to get access to the link. So they can't even do a review. There was an individual on the list who doesn't even work in the police department.'

Mazzeo says he found a mistake when his file was released in June.

Mazzeo: 'The first records that went out had a problem in them. My own records that the city released had my social security and address on it.'

Mazzeo says the city has 119 files that will be published.

They're all for active-duty police.

In a statement, the mayor's office said, 'the city has taken the necessary steps to ensure the proper release of these vital records, as well as, provided ample opportunity for review and feedback.'

The files were supposed to be available last Friday. Now, the union says the city wants to publish them on Dec. 27. The petition is asking the court to push it back until every file is vetted by the individual officer.