James Brown


Before coming to WXXI News, James spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for Rochester City Newspaper. While at City, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.

James cut his teeth in journalism as an associate producer and weekend assignment editor at WHEC-TV.

A Rochester native and an East High School graduate, James earned a Bachelor of Communications degree from Niagara University where he won awards for his poetry and resurrected the school’s radio station.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Ernest Flagler-Mitchell of the Monroe County Legislature said Wednesday that he wants to know why news of Prude’s death didn’t reach him and other county leaders earlier. Flagler-Mitchell and the other members of the legislature’s Black and Asian caucus requested that Legislature President Joe Carbone investigate the death of Daniel Prude and the county’s role in the events that followed.

“We’ll find out who knew what, why it didn’t get to everybody, and we weren’t as transparent. And to make sure that we fix any broken systems that is in the county,” said Flagler Mitchell. 

James Brown

This time last year the Rochester City School District announced they would face a mid year budget deficit but these days they’re working on ways to prevent future financial problems. 

The district has laid off hundreds over the last 18 months to bridge multiple budget deficits and sent pink slips to 221 more staffers last week.

To shrink an expected $59 million budget deficit at the end of the year, the district said it stopped all out of town travel, implemented a soft hiring freeze, and stopped using substitutes for vacant positions among other moves.


Rochester City Council has issued subpoenas in connection with its independent investigation into the death of Daniel Prude.

James Brown / WXXI News

During a visit to Rochester’s Aenon Baptist Church on Sunday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James said her office will announce when it is investigating deaths of unarmed individuals after encounters with law enforcement. She also said her office will release police body camera footage of these incidents as soon as possible.

“I commit that we will notify the public,” said James, "when we arrive at a decision, to assert our jurisdiction in investigations of police officers involved deaths of unarmed civilians, to avoid the situation that occured here in Rochester.”


Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott has begun to issue the first round of subpoenas for an investigation, initiated by Council, into the death of Daniel Prude.

The initial subpoenas were directed at Mayor Lovely Warren’s office, the Rochester Police Department, the city’s Law Department, and City Council itself. They were authorized unanimously by Council members during a brief meeting Friday. The members also authorized Scott and Vice President Willie Lightfoot to issue any subsequent subpoenas requested by Andrew Celli, the attorney leading the investigation.

James Brown / WXXI

Tamiko Matthews received her second pink slip from the Rochester City School District this week. The 40-something mother of one has worked for the district for just two years. 

"What am I going to be able to do next, after this?” Matthews asked. “Am I gonna be able to come back to my job or continuously look for another job?”

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Sixteen people were arrested Wednesday after a standoff outside City Hall between Rochester police and the protesters calling for justice in the death of Daniel Prude.

Prude was restrained by city police in March; he died a week later. Protests have been ongoing since earlier this month when Prude's family and attorney released police body camera footage of the incident.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Dozens of protesters calling for justice in the death of Daniel Prude marched from the Public Safety Building to Rochester City Hall on Tuesday morning.

James Brown / WXXI News

Two elected officials have asked the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division to investigate police conduct during the Daniel Prude protests. 

Prude suffocated in Rochester Police custody in March and died a week later. 

Details about the incident were kept quiet until Prude's family came forward early this month. Police body camera footage shows Prude nude with a bag known as a spit shield on his head. Officers pinned him to the ground. 

County Executive Adam Bello.
Max Schulte / WXXI News

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said Friday that “the system isn’t working for everybody.”

As part of the county’s response to the death of Daniel Prude, Bello announced an expansion of the county’s Forensic Intervention Team -- also known as FIT -- which will expand its operations to 24/7. FIT responds to crisis calls with law enforcement and helps connect people with outpatient services.

Bello said the county and the city of Rochester will spend more than $600,000 on the program combined.