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Protests end with arrest at the PSB

James Brown

Organizers with the activist group Free The People Roc are responding to events that happened Tuesday involving arrests after protests including one at the Public Safety Building downtown..

Protesters showed up at that building Tuesday night demanding information about a protester who was arrested in Webster earlier in the day during a protest.

Rochester Police put out a statement Tuesday night saying 50-year-old Nicholas Wilt was arrested by Monroe County deputies in Webster and, at that time, Wilt had outstanding warrant for failing to appear before the court for a previous arrest, one that happened during a demonstration on Child Street Sept. 12. It later was learned that the original arrest, on charges of unlawful assembly and resisting arrest, should have had a court appearance date of Oct. 22. RPD says the bench warrant was issued by mistake when Wilt did not appear in court on Sept. 22.

Wilt was taken to the Monroe County jail and protesters showed up and went inside the PSB. Police say while inside the building, at least one protester assaulted an RPD sergeant and another officer with a weapon. Police charged 26-year-old Jordan Hughes with two counts of second degree assault.

Police say the injured sergeant and officer were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries, along with a third RPD officer who suffered injuries; there was no immediate word on the extent of injuries.

RPD says that it will work with city court to determine how the error on the bench warrant happened, and to “find ways to prevent future occurrences.”

In a post on its Facebook page, Free The People Roc said that on Tuesday night it “experienced the brutality of Rochester Police Department full force, yet again. Many of us were physically and forcefully pushed out of the Public Safety Building after demanding information and the release of a protester kidnapped from Webster being held in the county jail.”

The activists were calling for the release of Hughes, after their comment in that post saying “he was physically assaulted and arrested by RPD.” A later post from Free The People Roc said that Hughes was going to be released.

Free The People Roc planned to gather  at the PSB on Wednesday to “demand justice for Jordan and hold RPD accountable."

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.