SATURDAY UPDATE: A fourth night of protests in Rochester, New York, over the death of Daniel Prude was the largest yet, and again ended with pepper balls, tear gas and fireworks.
ROCHESTER, NY — Eleven people were arrested and three officers injured Friday after a third night of protests in Rochester 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, accused of first-degree rioting and inciting a riot.
- Jeremy A Yager, 22, accused of first-degree rioting.
- Barry M. Andrews, 25, accused of first-degree rioting.
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.
Protesters chanted together, listened to music and talked about what they would be marching for:
- Justice for Prude and his family.
- The resignations of Mayor Lovely Warren and RPD Chief La’Ron Singletary.
- Reformation of the role police play in Rochester.
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 (Swan Dive, Ox and Stone) and some in the crowd flipped over tables; glass could be heard shattering.
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:
“At approximately midnight, officers encountered a large crowd at the intersection of Court St. and South Clinton Avenue, who again began throwing rocks, bottles, and other debris. In addition, small fires (garbage cans) were being set by members of the crowd, to include a bus shelter. A group of agitators began hurling commercial grade fireworks directly at officers standing on the opposite side of the intersection. In order to prevent serious physical injury to both officers and spectators, officers deployed tear gas at approximately 12:05 a.m. in an attempt to disperse the crowd. This was the first and only deployment of tear gas utilized during tonight’s event.”
This story will be updated.