New York DA Apologizes After Video Shows Her Cursing Officer Who Pulled Her Over for Speeding

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
April 29, 2024New York
New York DA Apologizes After Video Shows Her Cursing Officer Who Pulled Her Over for Speeding
A police car in Webster, N.Y., in July 2022. (Google Maps/Screenshot via NTD)

A district attorney from upstate New York is being investigated for allegedly verbally lashing out at a police officer.

According to bodycam footage, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley was stopped for speeding, which led to her embarking on an expletive-laden rant, demanding the officer “leave her alone.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul referred the incident, which happened on April 22, to the State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct. Ms. Doorley subsequently issued an apology on April 29, in which she took full responsibility for her actions.

“What I did was wrong — no excuses,” Ms. Doorley said in her apology. “I take full responsibility for my actions.”

According to footage, a Webster police officer pulled up outside Ms. Doorley’s residence after she had just parked in her garage, questioning why she failed to pull over when the officer had his lights and sirens on.

Ms. Doorley then admitted to the officer, who was identified as Cameron Crisafulli, that she had indeed exceeded the speed limit, driving 55 mph in a 35 mph zone.

In the over 25-minute video, Ms. Dooley can then be heard saying that she was unaware of the officer’s attempts to pull her over, citing confusion over other drivers also being on the road.

“I was right behind you,” the officer then replied.

Repeated requests by the officer that Ms. Doorley should remain in front of her garage were apparently ignored, according to the footage, with Ms. Doorley walking around her garage, seemingly trying to enter her property, which led to the officer calling her out for non-compliance.

“Ma’am, do not go inside,” Officer Crisafulli said.

“Ma’am, come outside. You can’t just go inside, this is a traffic stop.”

Ms Doorley then retorted by telling the officer that she had better knowledge of the law and that he should get out of her house in another profanity-laden outburst.

“I am the DA of Monroe County,” she said amid repeated calls for the officer to “leave her alone.”

The officer then told her that she was in violation of speeding laws, to which she responded, “I don’t really care.”

Ms. Doorley then asked Mr. Crisafulli to speak to Webster Police Chief Dennis Kohlmeier, whom she contacted by phone. Shortly after, the officer called a supervisor to the scene.

Visibly surprised by Ms. Doorley’s behavior, Mr. Crisafulli reiterated that he was just doing his job and pointed to the unwarranted hostility towards him.

“You’re being an [expletive]. I am the DA of Monroe County,” Ms. Doorley snapped.

“If you give me traffic ticket that’s fine. I’m the one that prosecutes it. Go ahead,” she said afterward.

Things then appeared to calm down when Ms Doorley admitted that her behavior was a consequence of hardships she experienced throughout the day.

When the supervising officer arrived at the scene, and after some deliberation, Mr. Crisafulli wrote out a speeding ticket, which he presented to Ms. Doorley.

Ms. Doorley took the ticket and apologized to the officer.

“I’m sorry you had a bad day, and I’m sorry it went this way. I do respect what you do. Have a good day,” the officer responded.

Ms. Hochul issued a statement on April 28 in which she called Ms. Doorley’s conduct unprofessional amid calls for her to resign.

In her statement, Ms. Hochul referred to Ms. Doorley’s behavior as “in contravention of her responsibility as a District Attorney and undermined her ability to hold others accountable for violating the law.”

Ms. Doorley subsequently released a video the following day, in which she took accountability for her actions, as reported by WHEC.

“Last Monday I failed you and the standards that I hold myself to. And for that I am so sorry. I fell short of the values I’ve held for my entire 33-year career. I didn’t treat this officer with the respect that he deserved. All police officers deserve respect,” she said in the video.

“I believe in accepting responsibility for my actions and had no intention of using my position to receive a benefit. Nobody, including your district attorney, is above the rule of law, even traffic laws.”

She reiterated that her short fuse with the officer was a result of having dealt with three homicides that had occurred the previous weekend, in addition to learning of her husband’s ill health on the day.

“I was dealing with three homicides that occurred on the weekend, I watched a video where an innocent cab driver was executed,” she added.

“I was still reeling from a frightening medical concern that my husband received that afternoon. But we all have bad days and stress, and it was wrong on me to take it out on an officer who was simply doing his job. While I had previously apologized to him, I will say it again, I’m sorry,” she said.

Ms Doorley concluded the video by saying that she pleaded guilty to the speeding charge and will settle the associated fine, adding that the case will be referred to a different DA for review, in addition to her taking her case before a grievance committee.

“If one of my assistant district attorneys had acted this way, I would have disciplined them, so I’m disciplining myself. I will take ethics training to remind myself that professionalism matters,” she said.

“I’ve been humbled by my own stupidity and I am fully to blame. I will make this right — I ask for your forgiveness.”

A request for further investigation of Ms. Doorley’s conduct was sent on April 27 by Rochester City Council to New York State Attorney Letitia James.

NTD reached out to Ms. Doorley’s office and Webster police for further comment but did not receive a response by press time.

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