ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, was killed in the line of duty along Bauman Street Thursday, RPD Chief David Smith said Friday morning.

The shooting came hours after Mayor Malik Evans declared a Local State of Emergency in Rochester due to ongoing violence.

In the last month, the city has seen seven residents die from gun violence, including the police officer shot last night. Mayor Evans says this is an order he’ll revisit every five days, giving him the ability to seek out problematic areas in the city, and even shut down streets if needed.

Evans added that he is giving resources to the area of North Clinton Avenue. Police say mid-day shootings have occurred more frequently on this street.

“Choke on your thoughts, choke on your prayers,” City Councilmember Michael Patterson said. “They have a duty and a responsibility to legislate and act. If I could, if we could, we would. We can’t.”

Patterson represents the Northeast District, where the shooting of Officer Mazurkiewicz took place. He went on to criticize what he called a lack of response across all levels of government.

“You need data points? 35 dead — there’s your data point,” he said, referencing the number of victims who died from shootings. “Over 200 shot — there’s your data point. You need more data? Look at last year. 80 dead. 400 shot. It was Tuesday, and we actually had Councilmembers vote against accepting money to combat gun violence. And during that conversation, we had three people shot, two of them died. And as we roll forward, more of them [are] getting shot.”

Former Mayor of Rochester, former RPD Chief, and former Lieutenant Governor of New York Robert Duffy said that he worked with Officer Mazurkiewicz in RPD, and highlighted his capabilities and willingness to serve.

“This man is an almost 30-year veteran, 54 years old. He was working nights on the street, hunting down homicide suspects — those who could be with the worst of the worst in our community, who are taking lives. He had choices, he could have worked inside [at] a desk, he could have retired many years ago,” Duffy said. “Gives you a snapshot of where his heart’s at. He was always a great public servant, great police officer, very dedicated. I can’t think of one bad thing about this man. [He] served his community with distinction and honor for almost 30 years.”

Duffy, currently the President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said that in his many years living in Rochester, he’s never seen violence rates this bad. He also said that he wanted people to remember an officer of Mazurkiewicz status made an active choice to be out in the field.

“A police officer in [their] 50s, mid-50s or above, on the streets, at night, probably earns enormous respect from their colleagues, because they do have choices. And maybe if he’d made a choice, he might be around today with his family. But he didn’t. He made a choice to be out there,” Duffy said. “And he’s lost his life doing it. He should be honored, in a way, remembered, and hopefully his life was not lost in vain. Things. Have. To change.”

More lawmakers and elected officials react:

Monroe County Republican Legislature:

Our collective heart breaks for the victims and families of last night’s tragic attack […] We pray for the victims, their families, our law enforcement, and this community as a whole. The brave men and women of law enforcement dedicate their lives to protecting ours — this senseless attack marks one of the darkest days in a continuing dark year. Nearly eight years since the murder of Officer Daryl Pierson, three years since the assault of Officer Denny Wright, and in a year we have seen over 40 homicides and 150 non-fatal shootings – our City is under attack.This immense violence and loss must end. Our strongest prayers are with the men and women of the Rochester Police Department and our resolve with all those who seek to put an end to this plague once and for all.

Monroe County Democratic County Legislature:

The members of the Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature, express our sincerest regrets and condolences on the killing of Rochester Police Officer Anthony P. Mazurkiewicz. Officer Mazurkiewicz served the citizens of Rochester for 29 years and his death is another tragedy for our city. Ongoing violence in our community has led to too many lives – lost too soon and we must do all we can to prevent more bloodshed. We send our wishes of peace and hope to the family of Officer Mazurkiewicz. We also wish a speedy recovery to Officer Sino Seng, the bystander who also injured, and to the others who have been affected by this senseless tragedy.

Rochester City Councilmember Miguel Melendez:

This latest murder is the product of a violent culture that has permeated our streets and is terrorizing our neighborhoods and the neighbors within them. On behalf of City Council, I offer my deepest condolences to the Mazurkiewicz Family and also to the entire RPD Family. I also want to acknowledge his partner, Officer Seng, and a bystander who were also shot in this incident and I will continue to pray for their full recovery. As a City we need to grieve for those who have been caught in this wave of terror, we all need to continue our prayers for healing and for an end to the violence gripping our streets, but these prayers need be met with the resources and hard work needed to stop the shootings.

Rochester City Councilmember Jose Peo:

Prayer and condolences aren’t enough after losing Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year veteran. We have had over 200 shootings and 42 homicides this year already, and are on track to have the deadliest year in Rochester’s history. We are losing our children’s lives and innocence to violence; families are moving to keep their loved ones safe, and to give their children a safe environment to play without the worry of a stray bullet, or their cars being hijacked, or simply being attacked walking down the street, all in broad daylight. We must use every tool to our disposal in our city, including grants for public safety and stricter traffic control, and call on our residents to be empowered and feel safe enough to speak up when they see something wrong. If we want to curb the crime in our city, it will take the entire “village” working together, with the help of law enforcement.

Backlash on Police:

Duffy also briefly pointed out what he feels is undue backlash on police officers as a profession, saying that he hoped Mazurkiewicz’s death can be a catalyst for change surrounding both violent crime and the public’s relationship with law enforcement.

“There’s something about this community and the country right now with law enforcement,” he said. “In many ways, they’ve been demoralized. And, the overwhelming number of men and woman are doing outstanding work every day, are out in the streets while people are sleeping and safe in their homes, putting their lives at risk. Tony Mazurkiewicz last night is an example […] And I think it reinforces what we should stop. Sometimes, the activists, and those with certain ideologies, I’m sorry. I think that we have really done a disservice to police officers here and across the country. Fix the problems, don’t stereotype. You can’t fight discrimination and stereotyping, and still do the same thing with a profession.”

Dangerousness standard:

Councilmember Patterson also called out the governor for legislating concealed carry, and not instituting what we called a “dangerousness standard.” Patterson claimed that New York is the only state in the U.S. without one. Dangerousness standards in other states give judges leeway in keeping people jailed if judges deem the person dangerous.

The governor did address the shooting of Officer Mazurkiewicz in a tweet Friday:

In February 2022 in a “frequently asked questions” piece, Democrat State Senator Brad Hoylman addressed “dangerousness standards” in regards to New York bail reform:

States that have added dangerousness often end up with more, not less, people jailed pretrial on lower-level charges, and often see an increase rather than decrease in racial disparities in the criminal legal system. In practice, “Dangerousness” standards allow for arbitrary and racist judicial decision-making and will increase the population of people detained pretrial.

U.S. Representative John Katko, the Republican representing the 24th District of New York, supports the dangerousness standard, as outlined in an open letter to Governor Hochul. This was included in a January 2022 press release:

As sponsors of the Stop Enabling Repeat Violence and Endangering (SERVE) Our Communities Act, we have been proud to put forward substantive legislation in Congress to address the absence of a “dangerousness standard” in New York State. Our legislation would provide $10 million annually in anti-recidivism funding for states that have a law on the books that allows a judge to consider the danger an individual poses to the community when determining bail or pretrial release conditions. Our legislation also promotes strong investments in law enforcement and combatting anti-police sentiment, two issues that have unfortunately seen a significant backslide in our state as a direct result of the “Defund the Police” movement and efforts by the far left to demonize law enforcement. With this in mind, the SERVE Our Communities Act should serve as the basis for comprehensive reforms at the state-level to prioritize the rule of law and ensure New York remains a safe place to raise a family or start a business.


Some statements have been edited for length.