11 arrested, 3 cops injured in Rochester riots over Prude's death
The protests became violent as the night wore on, with some in the crowd throwing objects at police and flipping tables at restaurants
By News10NBC and Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, N.Y.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Eleven people were arrested and three officers injured Friday after a third night of protests in the city over the death of Daniel Prude.
Prude died in March of asphyxiation after Rochester police officers trying to take him into protective custody pinned him to the ground while restraining him. Video of that interaction was released earlier this week, prompting the protests.
According to a pair of overnight news releases from the Rochester Police Department, three people were charged with felonies. Jaeylon Johnson, 21, was accused of first-degree rioting and inciting a riot, the latter of which is a Class A misdemeanor. Jeremy A. Yager, 22 and Barry M. Andrews, 25, were both accused of first-degree rioting, a Class E felony.
Four of the arrested were taken to Monroe County Jail and seven others were issued appearance tickets. The release did not say who was jailed.
Police said three officers were hospitalized, two for cuts and one for burns, after being struck by flying objects or incendiary devices. They were all treated and released.
There was no official count of injured protesters, but some were treated for injuries at the scene. A protester at East Avenue and Alexander Street was hit by a car whose driver also used pepper spray on pedestrians, according to video posted on social media.
Upward of 2,000 people, according to police estimates, gathered in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in the early evening Friday. For several hours, the protest was almost entirely peaceful.
Peaceful protest underway in Rochester to lift up the life of #DanielPrude. Sadly, Rochester PD are now using force, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse those peacefully assembled. pic.twitter.com/KXojeKhUwC— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) September 5, 2020
Protesters chanted together, listened to music and talked about what they would be marching for. The three central demands made were justice for Prude and his family, the resignations of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and RPD Chief La'Ron Singletary and reformation of the role police play in the city.
At one point, Joe Prude, Daniel Prude's brother, stepped up to speak to the crowd. He started to speak, then had to take a moment to compose himself.
"This is an unstoppable moment right now," he said, gesturing to the crowd. "It's time to get rid of them sons of b--ches."
The protesters marched for about an hour throughout downtown Rochester and stopped traffic along several streets as they walked through the city.
From Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, the group headed down East Avenue, to Alexander Street and Park Avenue, and later went back down Monroe Avenue toward the city. They stopped at a few restaurants on Alexander, including Swan Dive and Ox and Stone and some in the crowd flipped over tables; glass could be heard shattering.
BLM rioters in Rochester trashing people’s dinner and vandalizing restaurants.— AltAzn (@Alt_Azn) September 5, 2020
The media had deemed this a “peaceful protest”.
The protest's organizer Ashley Gantt addressed diners at Swan Dive where she explained the story of Daniel Prude. She finished off by telling diners to "pay and then start walking."
Chants of "out of the bar, into the streets" continued.
When the group ultimately headed down Court Street, toward the Public Safety Building, they were met with a row of metal barriers and Rochester Police Department officers in riot gear.
Protesters shouted at police and volleyed plastic water bottles their way. Police fired pepper balls and sprayed tear gas while using a speaker system to demand that the crowd disperse and leave the area.
The crowd moved back east over the Court Street bridge and spread out along South Avenue, taking cover behind parked cars or using homemade shields to protect themselves.
Police released two videos early Saturday, one detailing use of tear gas and the other showing fireworks being lobbed at police.
News10NBC talked to one demonstrator about what needs to change, saying how city officials had lost the trust of the public.
"This is not going to end until Mayor Warren--until she resigns, and the chief resigns. They hid everything, it's bottom line, everybody knows it. They lied, now it's time for her to go. It's that simple. She was supposed to work for the people, but she wasn't working for us".
©2020 Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, N.Y.