Calling the protests and riots that have engulfed the city where he’s served as a police officer for more than 20 years an attempt to destroy his “character and credibility,” Rochester, New York police chief La’Ron Singletary and the entire command staff of the Rochester police force tendered their resignations on Tuesday. The departure followed days (and nights) of unrest after body camera footage of the death of Daniel Prude was released by police.
“As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character,” he said in a statement. “The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for.”
His retirement will be effective Sept. 29, according to Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott. Scott told ABC News as of now there is no blueprint for how the city moves forward following the retirements of the command staff.
Almost simultaneously with the news of Singletary’s departure, Dallas, Texas police chief Renee Hall announced that she’ll be stepping down at the end of the year.
Upon learning about the chief’s resignation, Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said, “I think it was necessary. We’ve had double-digit increases in crime. The murder is at where it was last year if not greater. And the debacles we’ve had time and time again, a lack of leadership, a lack of decision-making.”
Mata added, “We needed a more dynamic, more experienced chief that could build morale better than she did and had crime-fighting abilities that were stronger than hers.”
But the Black Police Association of Dallas said a lot of criticism was unwarranted.
President Terrance Hopkins calls hall a progressive chief who moved the department forward.“We increased hiring. We increased pay during tenure. So there’s a lot of good things that Chief Hall did for the City of Dallas,” Hopkins said.
Altomare said the Black Lives Matter movement is two-faced: a peaceful movement and a violent one that’s calling for changes to endanger police.
According to Altomare’s account, the second faction is “a Marxist group that’s going around tearing the country up with antifa.” Antifa is a group of far-left, anti-fascism activists without much structure, some members of which have been tied to violence, the New York Times reported. The group is not affiliated with other movements, like Black Lives Matter, but people associated with antifa have been known to rally around some of the same causes, according to the Times.
The Black Lives Matter organization promotes peaceful movements in support of equality for Black people and abolishing violence against them by “the state,” according to its website. Locally, Black Lives Matter protests have remained peaceful, a fact Altomare has acknowledged and, at times, praised.
He spoke to scores of protesters who in June gathered at a park in Pasadena. Altomare promised that the large police presence was there to protect protesters and assured the police department cared about all county citizens, regardless of creed or color.
But Altomare said in the recent interview that there’s a push locally and nationally for police reform that he can’t support, like making officers exhaust every option available to them before resorting to their firearm. “That requires dead cops, and I can’t live with it.”
O’Donnell tells Bearing Arms that if these chiefs believed the anti-policing efforts were a flash in the pan, they’d likely remain at their post. Instead, he thinks that the top cops know that the efforts to “reimagine policing” aren’t going away anytime soon, and that’s why so many are deciding to step down rather than stay in charge. If Rob’s right, then we’re not likely to see the increase in violent crime in cities like New York City, Seattle, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Portland, and Chicago decline any time soon. Instead, the “new normal” in Democrat-controlled cities is going to mean more dangerous streets and public safety efforts aimed at cracking down on legal gun owners instead of violent offenders.