Monroe County Legislator Willie Joe Lightfoot was arrested on May 4th, 2011 because he held Rochester Police Department officers accountable when they threatened to punch a suspect in the face—after he was in custody—outside of Lightfoot's barber shop on Jefferson Avenue. For doing the right thing, Lightfoot was arrested and charged with DWI, Obstruction of Governmental Administration, Disorderly Conduct, and Failure to Take a Breathalyzer. In court, three of his charges were dropped because he took a plea deal for DWI—even though he was neither driving at the time of his arrest nor drunk. He has served as a Rochester firefighter, county legislator, and community activist for years. Lightfoot is also an honorably discharged veteran. In the interview, Lightfoot narrates events that unfolded on May 4th with the help of the security camera footage from his shop. He talks about what happened after his arrest, his thoughts on how the media framed his case, the need for citizens to document police abuse, and his current passion—P.A.T.C.H—a support group for people abused by police—among other things. The video runs around a half hour.
Indy TV is a weekly studio talk show produced by members of Rochester Indymedia. We feature activists, artists, and regular citizens who are engaged in work that challenges us to build a better world. Our primary focus is local (Rochester, NY), but we occasionally invite national and international guest who are visting rochester to appear on our show.