Twenty years ago this July, I made a promise to my Dad, Mario Vara, as he lay in his casket, that I would continue his work in the fight against police misconduct and corruption, especially when it comes to the Rochester, NY Police department.
I don't break promises.
My Dad, Mario Vara was a longtime community activist here in Rochester in the fight against police misconduct and corruption.
Having left Cuba in 1968, my Dad knew all too well what it was like to live in a police state where the police could do what they wanted to you, whenever they wanted.
In the early 1980's, my Dad got involved in the community, speaking out on issues such as police brutality.
As a result of my Dad's work, the Rochester, NY Police department made his life miserable.
They would harass and intimidate him every day.
In fact, it got so bad that my Dad fell into a very bad depression, slowly getting worse until he stopped being the energetic and passionate person he was.
On a Friday evening in 1993 my Dad came downstairs and told me he needed to talk to me.
I told him I would be right up.
Within a few minutes I heard a loud bang,
I ran up the stairs to see my Dad laying in a pool of blood.
My Dad had killed himself, committing suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a shotgun.
Almost twenty years later, here I am.
Exposing police misconduct and corruption.
And keeping my promise.
Over the years I have been falsely arrested and beaten by members of the RPD.
Like the time in 1997, when former Rochester, NY Police officer Nick Joseph illegally broke into my home with his partner RPD officer Lamar Cousins, with guns drawn, and pointed at me, assaulted me, handcuffed me, then pushed me face first against his cruisers open door.
Turns out Nick Joseph had come to my home to retaliate against me, for my having videotaped his brother, David Joseph, now a Sgt. with the RPD's west side division, abusing a Jamaican motorist during a traffic stop.
A Federal Jury later found that RPD officer Nick Joseph violated my civil rights by beating me and falsely arresting me.
Joseph was later hired former Greece, NY Police Chief Merritt Rahn, and went to work for the GPD, when, on 2008, off duty Greece Police Sgt. Nick Joseph got behind the wheel of his brother's car, high on cocaine and alcohol and driving on interstate 390 North, in excess of 80 miles per hour, crashed into the back of a stalked Venice on the side of the interstate, rupturing a pregnant woman's placenta, forcing her to undergo emergency surgery, delivering her daughter 14 weeks premature.
Nick Joseph was convicted of aggravated vehicular assault, two counts of second-degree assault, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, and first-degree perjury; as well as two misdemeanors: driving while ability impaired and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Joseph was sentenced 3 to 7 years in New York State prison.
Over the years I've been arrested for my work.
Most recently, my Facebook 'Rochester, NY Police Department Exposed!' page was banned last week, after the RPD did everything they could to have Facebook ban me.
I hold a lot of pain inside.
When my Dad's body was being brought out in a body bag, several Rochester, NY Police officers including RPD investigator Lou Aletto laughed, as they smoked cigarettes.
I will never forget that.
I will also never forget how the first five people to attend my Dad's wake were RPD members.
Rochester, NY Police officer Ron Fontaine, Tom Dean, and Investigators Sal Ruvio, Vito D'Ambrosio and Vito D'April.
They were good friends of my Dad's.
They understood him.
They respected him.
They loved him.
I will never forget seeing the tears in RPD officer Ron Fontaine's eyes well up, as he hugged me, my brother and my mom, and told us "Mario was a good man."
I will never forget that.
Because my work has reached a level where more and more people know about it, the threats, and nasty emails come in almost daily.
Like this one.
One of the nastiest I have ever received.
"I'm not a cop so don't start you bullshit vaginal rant because of my email. First off, I'm glad to see your site is closing down and you are banned from FB. What you gonna do? Cry to Mr. Sheppard at RPD. You just made a story about him too, now you cry that he will not take your calls. You just attacked the media, McFadden, State Police, Sheriffs, everyone , you even "condoned a bounty on officers lives over the shooting of a dog.. All this because you thought you actually had supporters. Remember 9-11 dude, country came together for them. You are just a nobody. Was this feeling of silence the same reality your scumbag father felt when he did himself in. As the saying goes, scumbag recognizes scumbag. I'm a person that would rather see you crawl back into the hole you came from then see you defame and lying to the public anymore about hard working police officers. So, since they (police) can't shut your lying destructive mouth, I will allow you to talk shit in exchange with what you think your dad would want.
See friend, as far as I know there is no law against pissing on your dad's grave along with my fraternity that feels the same way about you. See cops and civil servants cant fend for themselves without making you a few bucks. Like you, nobody gives a fuck about me. Given that, Now, If I said, for every story you write that distorts, lies, or defames any officers I know as honest, your dad will get a nice bath. You cant be there all the time. And lets say you find out who I am, i'm not a cop, and if I knew a cop or was related to a cop? who fucking cares. Cops do not get punished for the actions of others that act without their knowledge or consent. Oh yeah, you must think they do, that's why you write shit with approve and condone and fucking words that only makes sense to a retard. In that case your dad's spirit will pay for your actions since he must condone the shit you are doing. No law in NYS against pissing on Davy's dad. Only public urination(fine) . After your field day with RPD, media and county officials, do you know of any cop that will cuff me for this, who's gonna sue me, Mario? After the whole "fisting" 101 article it was apparent you have lost total control and really need some direction. Nothing like the internet. My pissing fraternity is growing by the numbers. let's see how many will be willing to pee on his grave in response to your garbage. I'll be watching you blog closely. Let's see how much you really honor your dad like u say. Don't bother relying on yahoo for my ip.....Im using a vpn connection and also public broadband. and good luck."
I try to ignore things like this, and realize that my work is having its intended effect.
And here I am, almost twenty years later, keeping the promise I made to my Dad.
Follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/davyvara
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