CORNING, N.Y.– Tracy Mitrano (D) stood in Corning, NY on Thursday to address her stance on policing in the wake of a televised ad by incumbent Tom Reed (R) campaign that labeled her "extreme and dangerous."
The ad jeers Mitrano's praise of the governor's position on bail reform, her comments on the protests in Rochester and claims Mitrano intends to defund the police. Mitrano announced that her campaign has issued a cease and desist letter to Reed.
At the press call, Mitrano said she supports funding policing efforts and providing police departments with the support they need to do their jobs successfully. Mitrano told the press that she has always had a personal connection to law enforcement– two of Mitrano's step-children and her cousin work in law enforcement, Mitrano said.
"I back law enforcement unequivocally and I always have," Mitrano said. "I am for law enforcement being put in a reasonable position, not untenable positions, because they are expected to take care of domestic violence, abuse and neglect, mental health calls... I want to ensure that they get the support they need in order to fulfill their mission of serving and protecting the public."
Mitrano admitted that she has attended several peaceful protests, none of which turned violent while she attended, since June. She went on to condemn violent protests that have resulted in looting and rioting.
"Criminal activities are always criminal. If it's vandalism it's a crime and should be prosecuted. If it's violence it is a crime and should be prosecuted," Mitrano said.
She used the term "bad apples" to refer to police and protesters on both sides who have negatively impacted public perceptions of policing and protesting. She suggested that the Justice and Policing Act would be one way to address public concerns and alleviate pressures on police.
The Justice and Policing Act was introduced into Congress in July, in response to the death of George Floyd, a Missouri man who was killed by a police officer in May. The act's objective states that the act will work to improve transparency through data collection, and reform police training and policies and hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court.
The document mentions holding officers accountable for sexual misconduct with detainees, supplying departments with the funds to purchase body cameras and creating a police officer registry.
"[The Justice and Policing Act] funds the police if they are willing to wear body cameras an other things so that we can get a handle on when and where things go wrong, we can then address it."
Mitrano said her campaign issued a cease and desist order to incumbent Tom Reed demanding that he stop showing the video advertisement that falsely accuses Mitrano of wanting to defund the police. The 30-second ad, part of Reed’s media buy, shows images of violence with quotes attributed to Mitrano.
“It’s a lie,” Mitrano said flatly.
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