Criminal Justice

District attorney 'humbled by my own stupidity' after failing to stop for police, calling officer name

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A district attorney for a county that includes Rochester, New York, issued a video apology Sunday night after she failed to pull over for a traffic stop and called an officer a name after she drove into her garage about a half-mile away.

Monroe County, New York, District Attorney Sandra Doorley apologized after the officer’s bodycam video showed her calling the officer an “a- -hole,” telling him that she didn’t care that she was going 20 miles over the speed limit, and identifying herself as a district attorney.

The New York Times, USA Today, the New York Post and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle are among the publications that covered the incident.

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she reported Doorley to the New York State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, according to the New York Times. A local advocacy group called Save Rochester has posted a petition for Doorley to be removed from office.

“This is proof that white privilege reigns supreme in our country, and it’s time for that to come to an end,” Save Rochester said in a social media post. Doorley “had the nerve to try to use her position to escape justice; meanwhile, she prosecutes Black people to the fullest extent of the law.”

Statement by District Attorney Sandra Doorley from Sandra Doorley Press on Vimeo.

The officer had tried to pull Doorley over in the Rochester suburb of Webster, New York, on April 22. Doorley continued to her home, and the officer followed.

In her garage, Doorley told the officer that she had called the Webster police chief in the car, so he could let the officer know that she wasn’t a danger. Then Doorley called the police chief a second time and handed the phone to the officer.

“Just go away,” Doorley told the officer.

At one point, Doorley said she didn’t pull over because she didn’t feel like stopping. At another point, she asked how she was to know that the officer was trying to stop her and not someone else. The officer replied that she should know because he was right behind her.

In the apology video, Doorley said she fell short of her values and failed to treat the police officer with respect.

“I had just come from work. I was dealing with three homicides that occurred over the weekend. I watched a video where an innocent cab driver was executed. And I was still reeling from a frightening medical concern that my husband received that afternoon,” she said.

But we all have bad days, she said, and she was wrong for taking it out on an officer who was doing his job.

Doorley said she pleaded guilty to the speeding ticket, she was referring the matter to a district attorney in another county for review, she would report the incident to a grievance committee, and she will take ethics training.

“I have been humbled by my own stupidity,” she said. “I will make this right.”

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