Davy V. is a Cuban-American activist, filmmaker, video producer, photographer, writer and blogger best known for using the power of video and film to expose police brutality, misconduct and corruption.
Born November 15, 1970, in Rochester, New York, the son of the late Mario Vara, (1937-1993) a community activist against police brutality and misconduct in Rochester, New York, who worked closely with the Reverends Al Sharpton, and Raymond Graves, in confronting police corruption in Rochester, Davy V. first got his start in television and video by accompanying his father on production shoots, and working camera for Mario Vara's cable access television show, La Voz Del Pueblo (The Voice of The People).
The cable show focused on issues affecting minorities, especially Latinos, in Rochester, NY, such as housing and workplace discrimination, and incidents of police misconduct.
After Mario Vara's death in 1993, Davy V. went on to produce and host KEEP IT ON THE REEL, a cable access television show which ran on Rochester's community access television station, channel 15, (RCTV15), from 1995 to 2002.
With KEEP IT ON THE REEL, Davy V. fused a mix of Hip Hop with issues affecting African-Americans and Latinos in Rochester, NY, namely police brutality, and racial profiling.
Guests on the show included Treach, KayGee and Vinnie of Naughty by Nature, Method Man, Funkdoobiest, Da Youngstas, the Rottin' Razkals, and more.
In August 2001, Davy V. was featured in THE SOURCE Hip Hop Magazine (issue #143), in a Q&A about his work, titled "Brutal N.Y. Cops Caught on Camera; Filmmaker Lats Police Know the Streets are Watching."
In October 2001, Davy V. won the U.S. ACM Video Festival Award for his documentary, 'R.P.D. EXPOSED!' (2001), about the Rochester, New York Police Department and their long history of misconduct, corruption and questionable shootings of unarmed innocent citizens, by RPD officers.
'R.P.D. EXPOSED!' and Davy V.'s follow up, 'R.P.D.: Badges of DISHONOR, CORRUPTION and MURDER!' (2003), were both screened at the 2004 National Hip Hop Political Convention at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey.
DAVY V. ARREST:
In April of 2004, Davy V. was arrested and charged with harassment after Rochester, NY Police officer Thomas Rodriguez filed a criminal complaint alleging that he felt annoyed by Davy V,'s actions, after Davy V. not only featured Rodriguez in his 2003 film RPD: Badges of DISHONOR, CORRUPTION, and MURDER!, but also mailed a VHS copy of the film to Rodriguez's RPD station.
In the film, Davy V. talks about a 2003 incident in which Rochester Police officer Thomas Rodriguez beat 30-year old Lawrence Rogers, a mentally-ill man, in a Wegmans Food Supermarket parking lot.
The film includes a short video clip filmed by a bystander, showing Rodriguez placing his knee, and his weight, on the back of Rogers' neck.
Less than 2 hours later, Lawrence Rogers was pronounced dead at Rochester General Hospital.
Rochester, NY Police officer Thomas Rodriguez was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Davy V. has long maintained that Rodriguez got away with murder.
Davy V.'s work has been featured in publications such as THE SOURCE Hip Hop Magazine, URBAN AMERICA Magazine, The Ave. Magazine, Insider Magazine, La Voz Newspaper, Minority Reporter Newspaper, CNY LATINO Newspaper, DOWN Magazine, as well as on television news stations, and programs such as CNN and Inside Edition.
In addition to his blog 'Davy V.' at www.davyv.blogspot.com, Davy V. is also a regular contributor for LA VOZ Magazine and Minority Reporter Newspaper.
In 2009, Davy V. launched his YouTube channel, 'DavyVTV'.
In June of 2012, Davy V. joined CopBlock.org as a regular contributor.
Less than a year later, CopBlock.org founder Pete Eyre banned Davy V., claiming Davy V. was "too controversial".
This fired up a controversy which led to Davy V. and his followers to question whether CopBlock is truly committed to exposing police misconduct and corruption.
Currently, Davy V. is working on his first book, which will focus on citizens' first amendment right to photograph and video record law enforcement.