Demonstrators present list of demands months after man accused Freeport police of brutality
Dozens demonstrated outside Freeport Village Hall Monday in support of a man who is accusing the village's police department of brutality.
Protesters came with demands in the wake of the Dec. 3 arrest of Akbar Rogers. Video shows Freeport officers pulling Rogers over a fence of a home and subduing him with punches, kicks and Tasers while he screamed for help.
Rogers was charged with felony assault and resisting arrest - but he says he didn't assault anyone and instead, is the victim. Supporters of Rogers are calling on the district attorney to drop the charges.
Demonstration calls for charges to be dropped against man accusing Freeport Village police of brutality
"These officers did not care about my welfare. I remember my heart skipping as officers kept shooting electricity through my body over and over again with the Taser. I thought my life was over," says Rogers.
Protesters not only want to see an end to police brutality and structural racism, but also the officers involved, one of whom is the village mayor's son, to be reprimanded.
"We want the village to remove facial recognition cameras from the areas of Black and Brown communities in Freeport," says Kiana Abbaty. "We want to freeze the police budget and hiring practices to reallocate funds to infrastructure, social services."
Freeport Village Mayor Robert Kennedy says he would not comment, citing pending litigation.
When protesters went inside to speak at a public hearing, they say village officials gave them the runaround.
"They were playing games with us. They told us we were allowed 25 people, then they told us 15 because of the trustees and the mayor allowed, which we complied with," says Blair Baker.
News 12 and other outlets were also denied access by police at the front door. Protesters who did get inside say taping the public meeting was not allowed.
Baker says she addressed the mayor and trustees with her concerns, but felt her words fell on deaf ears.
"I feel like we were being, in a sense, laughed at and not taken seriously, but we are going to taking the power back," says Baker. "As I told the mayor to his face, we will be voting for a new mayor next year."