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‘Humbled by my own stupidity': N.Y. DA apologizes for berating officer

“We all have bad days and stress, and it was wrong for me to take it out on an officer who was simply doing his job,” Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Dooley said

Associated Press

WEBSTER, N.Y. — An upstate New York district attorney apologized Monday after police video showed her cursing at an officer who tried to give her a speeding ticket and telling him to “just go away.”

“Last Monday I failed you and the standards that I hold myself to, and for that I am so sorry,” Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Dooley said, referring to the April 22 incident in which an officer from the Rochester suburb of Webster tried to pull her over for driving 20 mph (32 kph) over the speed limit but she refused to stop.

Body camera footage released by the Webster police on Friday shows a tense confrontation between Doorley and Officer Cameron Crisafulli in her garage, where she drove instead of pulling over.

“I’m the DA,” Doorley said in the video. “I was going 55 coming home from work.”

The officer then told her she was driving 55 mph (88 kph) in a 35 mph (56 kph) zone. Doorley responded, “I don’t really care.”

When Crisafulli asked if she heard his siren as he tried to pull her over, she said, “No I didn’t, actually. I was on the phone.”

Instead of cooperating with Crisafulli’s commands to stay by her vehicle, Doorley called his boss, Police Chief Dennis Kohlmeier, and said, “Can you please tell him to leave me alone?”

She then handed the officer her cellphone and said, “Would you talk to Dennis? This is ridiculous.”

After that, she told the officer to “get out of my house,” using a curse word, and said, “I’m not dealing with you right now.”

Following the video’s release, Gov. Kathy Hochul asked the state Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct to review the incident.

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“Earlier today, I referred the Monroe County District Attorney to the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct following the release of police bodycam footage showing her claiming she is above the law, attempting to use her public office to evade responsibility, and acting unprofessionally towards a police officer simply trying to do his job,” the Democratic governor said in a statement.

In her apology video, Doorley said she accepts that she was speeding and will pay the fine.

She said she will also refer the matter to the district attorney of another unnamed county for review and will undergo ethics training “to remind myself that professionalism matters.”

Doorley said in the video that she had had a hard day at work dealing with three homicides and that her husband had received frightening medical news.

“But we all have bad days and stress, and it was wrong for me to take it out on an officer who was simply doing his job,” Doorley said.

“I’ve been humbled by my own stupidity,” she concluded.