During sixth night of marches, protesters call for justice for Daniel Prude 

click to enlarge Hundreds of protesters gather in front of the Public Safety Building on Monday night. - VIA WXXI NEWS, CREDIT SPECTRUM NEWS
  • Hundreds of protesters gather in front of the Public Safety Building on Monday night.
Protests calling for changes in local government leadership and justice for Daniel Prude continued for a sixth consecutive night on Monday.

The demonstrations have been calling for change in the wake of the incident last March, when the 41-year-old Prude died after being restrained by police on Jefferson Avenue.

Circumstances surrounding Prude's death came to light last week after video from  body cameras of police who were at the scene was released. In the days since, demonstrators have called for the mayor and the police chief to resign, and they've continued to demand that city government defund the Rochester police department and invest more money in mental health and other services.

On Monday night the protest began at Martin Luther King Jr. Park downtown, and soon after the gathering of hundreds of people marched through various streets ending up at the Public Safety Building, which has been much of the focus of the recent demonstrations. The protest remained peaceful for the most part, but the mood got tense as a growing number of police in riot gear showed up near the front of the PSB.

That standoff continued after midnight between police and protesters. Police declared the protest was an unlawful assembly, but most demonstrators remained in front of the PSB for a while, eventually starting to leave the area just before 1 a.m.

Rochester Police issued a statement early Tuesday morning saying that the crowd of 600 was “initially peaceful before trying to defeat the barricades around 10:20 p.m." and that later a few people threw bottles at officers. Police thanked community members and elders who helped keep the protest peaceful. There were no arrests reported.

As the protest unfolded Monday evening, City Council announced that beginning Tuesday, its members will have a regular public briefing with the Mayor and the Police Chief. A statement from City Council said that, “During this heightened state in our community, the Council is calling for briefings concerning any interactions between protesters and police officers as well as an opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns.”

The briefings will be held using video conferencing and will be streamed live on the Council’s YouTube Channel and shared on the Council’s Facebook Page.

The briefing for Tuesday, September 8 will be at 3:00 PM. Information on subsequent briefings will follow.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at [email protected].
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