Solages Blasted by Women's Group-
Withdraws from “National Night Out”
Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, under pressure by a top Women's Rights group for his sponsorship of the Nassau County Police "National Night Out," pulled out of the event after strong outcry and concern.
NOW, the National Organization for Women, called for the Nassau Police to withdraw and not associate with Solages regarding the annual event taking place on August 1st. NOW’s calling for Solages to withdraw was heeded by the embattled Legislator fighting charges of domestic violence and endangering the welfare of a child.
NOW is an intersectional, multi-issue, multi-strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights. Our official priorities are winning economic equality and securing it with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will guarantee equal rights for women; championing abortion rights, reproductive justice along with other women’s health issues; opposing racism; fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, health services, and child custody; and ending violence against all women, no matter race, age, or socio-economic class.
The controversy exploded after a facebook post by Legislator Solages promoted the evening and his sponsorship of the police open house activity. NOW President Sonia Ossorio termed Nassau Police's allowing Solages to participate as being "tone deaf" to the charges surrounding Solages that include domestic violence and endangering the welfare of a childare about to be addressed in the courts.
Solages, through Facebook, has stated his innocence to the charges and quoted scripture in the posting.
According to a Newsday interview of Ossorio, the NOW President called Solages participation, "absolutely outrageous. It sends the message that crimes of violence against women are not serious... It's just too serious an issue that we have in society- violence against women in the home, in the workplace- for any police precinct to think that it's appropriate to go forward with an event to build community trust with someone who's just been charged with such a crime."
The irony of the promotion of the police night out was not lost on some community leaders who felt that the timing was not only wrong but conveyed a message that confusing to residents. "If you read the charges against Legislator Solages you realize that this is not a simple matter that can be swept under the rug. What needs to happen is that the video that captured the incident must be made public. If the Legislator is innocent, as he says he is, demand it's release to the public. End the speculation and questions now," said Elmont Civic Activist Patrick Nicolosi.
The video Nicolosi was referring, according to reports, captures, in part, the assault Solages was charged with. Police allege that Legislator Solages attacked his girlfriend and her daughter when he could not find his marijuana in their home. Further, he grabbed his girlfriend's neck and pushed her into a wall, according to court documents.
The controversy ballooned last Wednesday as a taxpayer funded mailing from Solages promoted the event and his sponsorship.
The Legislator’s sponsorship of the "Night Out" has also raised questions by local residents regarding comments found in court documents whereby it is alleged Solages said, according to his girlfriend, "He always tells me that he owns the police department and the courts. He believes that if I call the police on him, nothing will happen."
NOW President Sonia Ossorio noted that, "every minute that passes that they don't rectify the situation, it's not going to be good for this police department that's trying to build community trust."
Solages pulled out of the event to avoid further controversy. However, Solages put out a press statement that referred to the controversy as “manufactured.”
NOW President Sonia Ossorio, said in a statement: “As we’ve said, it would have been inappropriate for someone recently arrested for domestic violence to join an event celebrating the very police department that made the arrest. We’re pleased that National Night Out events around the area can now continue without distraction.”