TROY, N.Y. -- Despite Saturday's bar brawl at Kokopellis that led to injured patrons and officers and with the community looking for answers, the city's Public Safety Committee remained silent on the issue at its meeting Monday evening.
Some residents have called for the resignation of city police Chief John Tedesco in light of the fight that left eight police officers injured, and six people in handcuffs at the 4th Street bar.
"Tonight, we're demanding. We're not asking anything, we're demanding certain things from the city and from the police department," said Pastor Willie Bacote.
Officers were called to the Kokopellis nightclub for reports of an assault, and police said they responded force, after being targeted with violence and verbal abuse.
But bar patrons like Rashad Thomas, arrested for fighting with police, said they didn't do a thing.
"But I wasn't even in the club. I wasn't the one throwing nothing or acting, you know? They just violated my rights," Thomas said.
And so city faith leaders made six demands Monday:
- Police Chief John Tedesco resign immediately
- An external investigation begin immediately
- The department release the names of officers involved in the brawl
- The involved officers be suspended during the investigation
At City Hall Monday night, Tedesco offered no indication he would meet any of the demands. Tedesco said the department is still reviewing video footage from the brawl, and gave no indication when the investigation would be finished.
The police union president called the faith leaders demands and tactics merely divisive.
"When you have a person who calls themself 'pastor' and tries to incite the community, that's not bridging the gap in any way, shape or form. And that's got to stop," said Troy PBA President Robert Fitzgerald.
In response, Bacote said Fitzgerald has a right to his opinion.
"He should never have said anything of that sort, but he has the right to say whatever he wants. But we as a people have had enough of this in our community, and this is not dividing us, this is bringing us closer together, Bacote said.
In a statement, Troy's Mayor Lou Rosamilia said that he believes police "used necessary force in order to make arrests and protect themselves," and adding, "This is not the image of the City we want to portray. This is not Troy."
The police chief urged patience and calm during the investigation -- things faith leaders say have run out.
"We are sick and tired of this. That's enough. And we are not taking no for an answer after tonight," Bacote said.