Naked except for the “hoods” in reference to Daniel Prude’s murder, several protesters sat outside Rochester police headquarters on Monday morning to press for accountability, local media reported.
Photos and videos showed the protesters, some with “Black Lives Matter” written on their backs, sitting silently with their hands behind them, on a rain-soaked street outside the city’s public security building. The Democrat & Chronicle reported that after some time the protesters were given blankets and were left in cars.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump tweeted that Rochester was among the cities that had had ‘bad nights’, while Mayor Lovely Warren congratulated activist leaders, police and community elders on a night of protest. calm.
Prude, a 41-year-old black man, died after police found him running naked in a street on March 23, put a hood over his head to prevent him from spitting, then took him held down for about two minutes until he stops breathing. He died a week later after being removed from the life support system.
His brother, Joe Prude, had called 911 to ask for help with Daniel Prude’s unusual behavior. He had been taken to hospital for a mental health assessment earlier that night, but released after a few hours, his brother told police.
His death sparked outrage after his relatives posted a police body camera video on Wednesday and wrote reports they obtained through a request for public records.
Seven police officers were suspended on Thursday and state attorney general Letitia James said on Saturday she would form a grand jury and conduct a “full investigation” into Prude’s death.
Warren and Police Chief La’Ron Singletary have faced calls to resign due to the delay in releasing details of Prude’s death.
Police union officials said the police were undergoing training.
Protesters demanded police accountability and legislation to change the way authorities respond to mental health emergencies.
Nightly protests continued on Sunday, when police said more than 1,000 protesters marched towards the public security building.
The protests of the previous nights escalated into clashes between police and protesters, with police spraying the activists with chemical spray and firing what appeared to be pepperballs to drive them from barricades around the headquarters building. At times, fireworks were fired and a bus stop was set on fire.
Local media said there were no such clashes on Sunday evening, when community elders acted as a buffer between protesters and police. The Rochester Police Department said no arrests had been made.
“Last night the world saw the true spirit of Rochester,” Warren said in a statement, adding that she told the police department on Sunday “to adopt a smaller, more restrained posture.”
Trump, however, mentioned Rochester in a Monday morning tweet about the cities, he said that “all of them had had bad nights” and were “weakly run by radical left-Democratic governors and mayors!”
“Get the picture? Added the Republican president.
Rochester NY, Brooklyn NY, Portland – Everyone’s had bad nights, all weakly run by radical left-wing Democrat governors and mayors! Get the picture?
– Donald J.Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 7 septembre 2020
Warren, a Democrat, urged people to ignore Trump’s comments, accusing him of trying “to make people act with hatred and incite violence which he says will benefit him politically.”
Over the past few months, Trump has repeatedly portrayed Democratic mayors as weak leaders who have left their cities overrun with violence and disorderly protests, posing as the president of “law and order” who will protect the land of chaos.
Shootings, murders and other crimes have recently increased in cities including New York, Chicago and Detroit, although crime remains lower overall than it has been in years past.
Trump has sought to link street violence to the protests. Criminal justice experts say spikes in crime cannot be easily explained in a year with historic unemployment and a pandemic that has killed more than 180,000 people.