(Rochester, N.Y.) - The arrest of Tyquan Rivera, the 14-year-old accused of shooting a Rochester police officer in the back of the head, has brought out some strong opinions.
Many area residents have commented on the teen's public demeanor on his way to his first court appearance in which he appeared to be smirking, almost smiling.
Mayor Bob Duffy commented, "I think in a perfect world whoever was responsible would walk in crying, take responsibility and be thoroughly embarrassed and humiliated they would be involved in something like this.”
However, Rivera's attorney George Conaty said his client's actions were that of a young person overwhelmed by what's going on around him.
“He doesn't know about all of this, what's going on with the cameras, the police and everything," Conaty said. "I know that that was a nervous smile, because I saw it; he just doesn't know how to react."
Conaty said his client, in court again Friday, is just beginning to understand the complexity of his situation.
"He's doing as well as he can under the circumstances," Conaty said. "He's a kid, a young boy."
Addressing public opinion about his client, Conaty said, despite the heinous crime of which he is accused, Rivera is not a monster, and remains innocent until proven guilty.
"It's up to the person saying it, but I don't think it's a fair characterization,” he said.
Rivera's mother was noticeably emotional in the courtroom Friday. Tyquan Rivera's demeanor was serious at this court appearance.
The case now moves to either County or State Supreme Court. The grand jury's findings don’t become public until next Friday.
Monroe County District Attorney Mike Green said they had only a short amount of time to get the case to the grand jury if they wanted to keep Rivera in custody, so it's common for things to move quickly.