Rochester, NY

Rochester Police Have Not Released Assailant’s Photo

Quest for the Forgotten
Janet is survived by her husband.Photos were from her Facebook Page

Sgt. Melvin Williams has been named as a “person of interest” in the death of Communications Officer Janet S. Jordan. The 35-year-old Rochester resident was reportedly “found deceased” earlier Monday on Wetmore Park. The Rochester Police Department is remaining tight-lipped about the cause of death. However, Bob Lonsberry, talk-show host at WHAM radio and WSYR radio advised that Janet was stabbed.

Janet Jordan worked with Rochester’s Emergency Communications Department for more than 11 years and served as a dispatch trainer in Rochester’s Pathway to Public Safety Program. Police have NOT officially confirmed the cause of death. Additionally, they are declining requests to release his picture.

In a Twitter exchange between myself and Nikki Rudd of WHEC, Nikki shared,

I have requested a picture of Melvin Williams from @RochesterNYPD and the City of Rochester. I was told by the City Communications Director, “We do not have photos to share at this time.”
This is the Twitter exchange between myself and Nikki Rudd.The image is from Twitter.

Mayor Malik Evans offered his condolences stating,

I thank our partners in State and County law enforcement for their support this morning in the investigation into the homicide of a valued City employee. I offer my sincere condolences to all of those impacted by this tragic situation. I have made grief counselors and mental health services available to all City employees.

To me, the biggest issue in this tragic case is the deflection from the police department. If you go on the Rochester Police Department’s Facebook page, or any police department’s page, you will see numerous pictures of suspects for various crimes throughout the city. Rochester is known as a high-crime area. Rochester PD does not shy away from showing the face of a person of interest.

That narrative changes when the offending party is an officer. Media coverage of this atrocity didn’t say that Sgt. Williams fatally stabbed Janet Jordan. Instead, they advise that she was found deceased. Couple that with the fact that the department is refusing to release Sgt. William’s picture, and it’s clear that they are trying not to bring attention to this officer.

This would not be the first time that police were tight-lipped about an officer that killed a dispatcher. On February 11, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy Abigail Bieber was shot and killed by detective Daniel Leyden, with whom she was romantically involved. It took several weeks for a picture of Detective Leyden to be released.

I do not think that this is fair or just. When it comes to an officer’s transgressions, no matter how heinous, there is a hesitancy with transparency and delay in information. This behavior will not change unless we hold them accountable. As of now, no further details are known about Sgt. William’s motives, but the bias is blatant. I will be updating this story as details become available.

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