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Troy Chief responds to community concerns

TROY -- Police Chief John Tedesco responded to allegations of police brutality during a public safety committee meeting of the city council. His comments come a week after a dozen speakers alleged officers used excessive force while responding to an incident at Kokopellis Night Club.

Discourse such as we heard from this podium last week serves no function other than to advance personal agendas rather to engage in meaningful dialogue, said Tedesco.

The chief also shot back at Pastor Willie Bacote, who helped bring the allegations to the forefront with claims that he has spoken to many mothers of sons who were beaten by police.

I am personally challenging Mr. Bacote when he hears of my remarks to produce these victims so their claims can be properly investigated. Mr. Bacote also said he sat with me to discuss police brutality. That simply never occurred, said Tedesco. His idea of working together is publicly indicting police officers, prying into an investigation into their actions. Thats not my idea of working together.

Bacote did not attend Wednesdays meeting. On Tuesday he told CBS 6 the Troy African-American Pastoral Alliance will meet privately to review newly released surveillance video and will issue a statement.

Troy Police Benevolent Associations President Bob Fitzgerald called on Bacote to resign from the alliance because of his recent comments.

Tedesco outlined steps needed to rebuild community relations by improving community policing.

The furor over this incident indicates change is necessary, said Tedesco It can only be achieved by the continuing efforts of both entities.