A District Attorney Was Caught Speeding. Her Reaction Led to More Than a Ticket.

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By 5mustsee.com

At 5:30 p.m. last Monday in Webster, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, Police Officer Cameron Crisafulli noticed an S.U.V. going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit on Phillips Road.

Officer Crisafulli signaled the driver to pull over by turning on his lights and sirens. However, instead of stopping, the driver continued into a residential area about half a mile away before parking in a garage at a two-story white-clapboard house.

It turned out to be the residence of Sandra Doorley, the Monroe County district attorney.

Angrily, Ms. Doorley exclaimed, “Sorry, I’m the D.A. I was going 55 coming home from work,” as she stepped out of the car with Officer Crisafulli approaching her garage. He reminded her that the speed limit was 35 mph on Phillips Road. Dismissively, she retorted, “I don’t really care.”

Footage of the encounter, captured by Officer Crisafulli’s body camera and released by the Webster Police Department on Friday, raised concerns about whether Ms. Doorley had tried to leverage her position to avoid a traffic citation. The video showed Ms. Doorley using profanity, insulting the officer, and exacerbating the situation.

Another officer, who arrived on the scene and identified himself as Officer Crisafulli’s supervisor, informed Ms. Doorley that by refusing to stop, she had violated another law which could warrant arrest. However, Ms. Doorley was not taken into custody.

The release of the footage prompted swift backlash, with residents of Rochester and beyond demanding accountability for Ms. Doorley.

Governor Kathy Hochul stated on Sunday that she had reported Ms. Doorley to the State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct. Governor Hochul emphasized that the body camera footage clearly displayed Ms. Doorley “asserting she is above the law, trying to use her public position to avoid accountability, and displaying unprofessional behavior towards a police officer who was simply performing his duties.”

The governor asserted that Ms. Doorley had “compromised her ability to hold others accountable for breaking the law.”

Save Rochester, a local advocacy group, called for an investigation into Ms. Doorley and initiated a petition for her removal from office. Demonstrators from the group at protests in Rochester on Monday demanded her disbarment.

The activist group, strongly aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement, cited Ms. Doorley’s conduct during the traffic stop as an example of white privilege.

In a social media post, the group asserted, “This incident emphasizes the prevalence of white privilege in our society which should come to an end. Sandra put many lives at risk and attempted to exploit her position to evade justice, while being stringent in prosecuting Black individuals to the maximum extent of the law.”

During her argument with Officer Crisafulli after the traffic stop, the body camera footage showed Ms. Doorley calling the police chief on the phone and asking him to instruct the officer to leave her alone. At one point during the call, Ms. Doorley rolled her eyes and handed the phone to Officer Crisafulli, who explained the situation to Police Chief Dennis Kohlmeier.

“Just go away,” Ms. Doorley later remarked as she entered her house.

Ms. Doorley apologized for her behavior in a video released on Sunday night, days after the body camera footage became public.

“What I did was wrong, no excuses,” she expressed. “I did not treat this officer with the respect he deserved.”

Both in her interaction with Officer Crisafulli and in her video, Ms. Doorley linked her behavior to the stress of addressing a recent string of homicides in Rochester, where three murders occurred within less than two days this month.

“We all have tough days and stress, and it was inappropriate for me to take it out on an officer who was simply doing his job,” she stated.

In the video, Ms. Doorley mentioned that she would pay the fine for her speeding violation and would refer the incident to a district attorney from another county for evaluation, without specifying which one. She also disclosed her intention to report the case to a grievance committee and committed to undergoing ethics training.

In her garage last week, Officer Crisafulli expressed his confusion regarding the level of hostility she displayed towards him.

“I’m doing my job,” he informed her. “You say you’re a D.A.?”

“I am the D.A.,” she confirmed, pulling out her badge from her handbag to show him.

“If you give me a traffic ticket, that’s fine,” she remarked. “I’m the one who prosecutes it.”

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