Tuesday morning Rochester Mayor Tom Richards offered a few comments on that 13WHAM News Investigation, while also conceding that he was only finding out himself about some of the particulars in this case.
"There is obviously enough of a potential problem here that it needs to be investigated and we will. I spoke to the Chief now this morning and he's going to initiate that,” Mayor Richards said. "I'm disappointed to hear it. We'll look into it and find out whether there's something in here that shouldn't have happened and if that turns out to be the case, they'll be a consequence.”
Mayor Richards was also asked why he and his police chief were only made aware of Judge Randall’s August 9th decision this week through 13WHAM News media inquiries and reports.
"I don't know what happened there quite frankly and I don't want to draw a conclusion about that until I know what happened. But it's a reasonable question and we'll have to get an answer to it," Richards responded.
He also said the community as a whole should not jump to conclusions nor draw larger conclusions about these officers, or the department as a whole based on a few isolated cases.
“We need to remember the here environment in which these men and women are operating in. They're in a difficult environment. They're dealing with people who are dangerous, who can hurt them and are committed to doing so,” Richards explained. “I'm not going to jump to conclusions about them nor am I going to jump to conclusions about the police department but as in any organization if something went wrong or if somebody didn't abide by the regulations or rules or act appropriately, we'll deal with it.”
Chief Sheppard Issues Statement
At 6 p.m. Tuesday Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard issued the following statement that acknowledges his decision to remove Officer Ryan Hartley from patrol duties while a thorough review of the case is conducted.
"Since becoming aware of a Decision and Order issued by a Monroe County Court Judge in the case of People v. Christopher Charles McNair, the Rochester Police Department (RPD) will conduct a thorough and impartial review of the investigation, arrest, and subsequent prosecution in that case. If this review determines there has been any violation of RPD rules, regulations, or policies by RPD personnel, appropriate action will be taken at that time. In the meantime, Officer Ryan Hartley is working in an assignment that does not involve patrol duties."