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Protesters march to City Hall, vow to remain there unless demands are met

Sep 15, 2020

Protesters gather on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday morning.
Credit 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.

They vowed to stay there until they get their demands met for the firing and arrests of police officers involved in the incident last March, when Prude suffocated after being restrained by police who had been responding to a mental health call.

They're also demanding that Mayor Lovely Warren and Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley resign, papering the front of City Hall with "wanted" posters depicting Warren and Doorley.

The news about Prude’s death came to light earlier this month when police body camera video was released.

There have been protests every day since news about Prude’s death was revealed. And there has been a flurry of actions taken by Warren, including suspending, with pay, the seven officers while state and local investigations continue.

Warren on Monday announced that she was firing Police Chief La’Ron Singletary. He had previously announced he would be retiring by the end of the month.

She also announced a number of other steps, after a more than 300-page report prepared by Deputy Mayor James Smith was released, which went through the actions taken during Prude’s apprehension, and the subsequent actions taken by police and city officials.

Warren has called for a federal investigation of the Rochester Police Department. A spokesperson at City Hall on Tuesday morning said she did not know if Warren was in the building during the protests.

Early Tuesday evening, a statement from Smith addressed the protests:

"Today we had peaceful protestors gather at City Hall to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech," Smith said. "As part of this protest, no one was able to gain access to City Hall, so we decided to close at 11 a.m., since we were not able to fully conduct business. Employees left at that time without incident and those gathered outside continued to express themselves peacefully." 

This is a developing story. Check back for details.