• Red Cross helping two adults after Cottage Street fire

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    Greater Rochester Red Cross is a proud sponsor of Roc The Peace

    The American Red Cross is providing housing to two adults left homeless after a fire late Saturday on the city’s southwest area.

    The fire at 376 Cottage St. was reported just before 10 p.m. and firefighters had it under control in about 13 minutes, said Battalion 2 Chief Dennis Prevost

    The fire started on the second floor of the large 2 ½ –story house, but a cause has not been determined, Prevost said. The investigation is continuing.

    Most of the damage was on the second floor, with some smoke damage to the attic. Nobody was hurt, Prevost said.

    Greater Rochester Red Cross is an official sponsor of Roc The Peace.

    [Provided by Democrat & Chronicle]
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  • Sirena Cotton interviews on Minority Reporter’s “Perspectives”

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    Sirena Cotton interviews on Perspectives, a talk show created by the Minority Reporter Media Group

    Did you catch Minority Reporter’s Perspectives recently? Our Founder, Sirena Cotton along with Cassandra Singleton speak up against violence in Rochester. Press play below to learn more about our initiative to help victims of violence.










  • Rochester teen pistol-whipped in Portland Ave. assault

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    Rochester Police Department

    Rochester police officers investigate an assault and robbery that included a pistol-whipping on Portland Avenue late last night. / CHAD ROBERTS Democrat & Chronicle staff photographer

    A 17-year-old Rochester youth was hospitalized late last night following an assault and robbery on Portland Avenue.

    Capt. John Koonmen of the Rochester Police Department said officers found the male teen lying on the sidewalk in front of 845 Portland Ave. at about 10:50 p.m., near where Portland intersects with Lux Street on the city’s northeast side.

    Koonmen said that investigators believe that two suspects were involved in the assault, in which the teen was pistol-whipped.


    The teen was being treated for his injuries at Rochester General Hospital.

    Koonmen said the teen was also robbed during the incident.

    Following the assault and robbery, Koonmen said the same two people suspected in the assault apparently fired a gun across Portland Avenue, striking a building across the road. There were no injuries.

    Koonmen said the incident remains under investigation.


  • 3 charged with keeping man tied up for 2 days, assaulting him

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    From left, Luz Correa, Welbert Lebron and Michael Solano. / Provided by Rochester Police Department

    Two men and a woman appeared in Rochester City Court this morning for a preliminary hearing on charges of kidnapping, robbing and assaulting a 22-year-old man.

    Rochester Police found the victim on Friday, tied hand and foot to bed posts in a bedroom at 118 Huntington Park, where the three suspects reside. The victim told police he had been there for two days.

    Welbert Lebron, 33, Michael Solano, 35, and Luz Correa, 37, each were charged Friday with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and second-degree assault, police said. They were arraigned in City Court on Saturday.

    The three also were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after 33 bags of heroin were found at the residence.

    The victim told police that he had gone to visit a friend in the Huntington Park neighborhood when he was hit on the head from behind. He woke up in the basement at 118 Huntington Park and was dragged upstairs, where he was bound and blindfolded.

    The victim, who said he does not know the trio, said he gave them his jewelry and cash after they hit him with hard objects and threatened to use a knife. He also told police that he was burned with a spatula and had a television thrown on his head, according to court documents. The man was treated at Rochester General Hospital for cuts, bruises and dehydration.

    The victim said the suspects demanded that they provide phone numbers of his friends, and they tried to get $5,000 in ransom, according to court documents.

    Police said someone called an officer to tell him the crime was occurring. Police forced their way into the house and arrested the trio without incident.

  • Lightfoot, Chief Hold Neighborhood Meeting on Cop Issues

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    Rochester's police chief caught an earful Monday, from people living in one of Rochester's tougher neighborhoods

    Rochester’s police chief caught an earful Monday, from people living in one of Rochester’s tougher neighborhoods. The loudest complaints — and a willingness to find solutions — came from a Monroe County lawmaker who’s dealing with his own troubles with the law.

    When police chief Jim Sheppard wanted to hear what people in the Jefferson Avenue neighborhood were thinking, he went to the barber shop. One owned by county legislator, and city firefighter, Willie Lightfoot.

    “We’ve lost some rapport that we’re hoping to rebuild,” said Lightfoot.

    The conversation was frank.

    “My only dealing with the police is negative, not positive,” said one woman.

    “When they show up, they’re coming to arrest people,” said Ricardo Adams, a longtime resident of the neighborhood.

    Sheppard heard complaints from many of those in attendance, regarding how police interact with the community.

    “Right now, people in the community are just as scared of the police as they are the hustlers out there,” said Adams. “It shouldn’t be like that.”

    Sheppard assured attendees that his top priority is to see a smooth relationship between his cops and the community.

    “For the people out there being disruptive and violent, we have to address those issues,” said Sheppard. “We’re going to be the police and take care of business. But we also have to make the people living in the neighborhoods who are on our side, let them know we’re on their side, that we got their back.”

    Lightfoot recently had his own run-in with city cops, who charged him last month with drunk driving, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. Lightfoot drove up on an investigation near his shop, and tried to intervene.

    His court case is still pending.

    Lightfoot, Chief Hold Neighborhood Meeting on Cop Issues


    “There’s some things I could have done differently — not getting upset by what I heard,” he said. “But there’s things the police could have done differently.”

    “When the police come around, I don’t feel friendly. I don’t feel like we’re on the same team,” said Lightfoot.

    Lightfoot and Sheppard both say the gathering at the lawmaker’s barber shop was organized months ago, before the May incident.

    I was aware of the circumstance with Willie. That will go through its process. He’s entitled to due process and it will end up where it will end up,” said Sheppard. “The fact of the matter is, he’s concerned about this community, he has been for a number of years and I think working together, we can make good things happen.”

    Sheppard says he hopes to have many more similar meetings with city residents. The chief was asked whether he thought some people’s perception of the Rochester Police Department is, in fact, reality.

    “I think in terms of perception, that is that person’s reality,” said Sheppard.

    That, says the chief, is what he hopes most to change. To get rid of the “us versus them” perception. Before leaving, Sheppard sat in a barber chair himself, receiving a shave from Lightfoot to the chief’s bald head.

    “That is my goal, to get more engaged, more involved,” said the chief.

    “I commend him for that effort, but it needs to go somewhere,” said Adams, who suggested police should walk the beat more in troubled neighborhoods, getting to know residents.

    If the chief wants a sense of how it’s all going in the neighborhood, he knows where he can go to find out.

    [Courtesy of ynn.com – Video also available]
  • 9 arrests made in fights that forced police to close Lake Ontario Beach Park

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    Lawanda Moses / Photo provided by Monroe County Sheriff's Office

    Lawanda Moses / Photo provided by Monroe County Sheriff's Office

    At least nine people were arrested after participating in a fight which forced police to shut down Lake Ontario Beach Park Monday night.
    [Click to watch news clip on WHAM Channel 13]

    Monroe County Sheriff’s officials said several large fights involving as many as 200 people started about 6:30 p.m. in several areas of the park. Deputies and members of the Rochester and Greece police departments moved in to break up the fights and to move people out of the area.

    As the crowds left, fights broke out along Lake Avenue and in several nearby neighborhoods, police said.

    There were multiple arrests and one deputy suffered a minor injury. It is unclear if any of the people involved in the fight were injured.

    At least five people were charged by Rochester police with disorderly conduct. Their names were not immediately available.

    Those charged by deputies include:

    • Erica Blake, 31, of Burrows Street; charged with second-degree assault, for allegedly scratching Deputy Shawn Edwards in the face. The charge is a felony.
    • Lawanda Moses, 20, of Electric Avenue, Rochester; charged with disorderly conduct.
    • Donovan Shaw, 19, of Battle Green Drive, Chili; charged with disorderly conduct.
    • Jason Love, 21, of State Street, Rochester; charged with disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is a violation.

    One other person is expected to be arrested, according to deputies.

    [Provided by Democrat & Chronicle and WHAM Channel 13 ]


      Erika Blake / Photo provided by Monroe County Sheriff's Office

      Erika Blake / Photo provided by Monroe County Sheriff's Office



    • Robert Forbes hospitalized from gun shot wounds

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      Mr. Robert  Forbes, son of Roc The Peace Founder Sirena Cotton, was shot during a fight on Monroe Avenue Saturday morning remains hospitalized today.

      The 25 year old aspiring artist nnown by peers as “Hennessey” , was shot twice in the lower torso on Monroe Avenue, near South Goodman Street, about 3 a.m. yesterday, said Rochester Police Officer Stephen Scott. The shooting stemmed from a large fight near the intersection, according to police.

      Scott said it appeared that Forbes had “a verbal exchange with an unknown suspect” just before he was shot.

      Forbes was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in guarded condition today, Scott said.

      Officers continue to investigate the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

    • Shooting Victim Speaks Out About Physical and Emotional Pain

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      A Rochester woman is speaking out after being shot in the face in her own home early Thursday morning. Zora Wright, 53, suffered non-life threatening injuries but healing the physical and emotional scars could take time. As police continue to search for those responsible, the fear and anger Wright is experiencing isn’t getting any easier. YNN’s Kate McGowan and photojournalist Matt Matt explain.

      ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Zora Wright said, “I was in shock…”

      It’s the one place she felt safe. A place, she said, that doesn’t feel safe anymore.

      “I knew it sounded like it was close but I never imagined it was my house.”

      Zora was home with her family Thursday morning when bullets sprayed into her home. First through her son’s window, and then into Zora’s room.

      “I was just lying on the floor, saying ‘I’m hit! I’m hit!”

      Wright was shot in the right side of her mouth. A second bullet was lodged in her back.

      “I knew I was, I knew I was struck in the face when I fell, and there was just blood coming out of my mouth, thick like pudding.”

      Zora was rushed to Strong Hospital. Her injuries were not life threatening, but Zora needed stitches in and around her mouth.

      She’s been released from the hospital but is still in pain.

      “Mostly my tongue, where the bullet fragment is in my tongue, and up where my teeth is because they knocked my teeth all the way up here to where my eyes is. You can actually feel it there,” she said.

      Rochester Police are still looking for whomever is responsible for the shooting.

      While investigators said it’s too early to tell if Zora was targeted, Zora believes it was no accident. She now fears for her family.

      “I’m dealing with when I look at myself, I’m dealing with worrying about my kids, and worrying about myself. I’m dealing with what did I do to you? Mainly, I’m dealing with not having my life.”

      With the shooter or shooters still walking free, Zora isn’t even comfortable in her own home.

      She said, “This will go away, this will go away. But the pain in my heart won’t. I would just like to know why? Why they did it?”

      There were four people in Zora’s house during the shooting. No one else was injured.

      Police are still investigating this incident and are asking anyone with information to call 911.


      [View previous post regarding this incident]
      [Article courtesy of YNN]
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