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Discussing changes to how RPD officers can respond to protests

Police converge on City Hall on Sept. 16, 2020, in response to demonstrators "occupying" the exterior of the building.
Max Schulte
/
WXXI News
Police converge on City Hall on Sept. 16, 2020, in response to demonstrators "occupying" the exterior of the building.
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The City of Rochester is making major changes to how Rochester police can respond to protests and mass gatherings. Effective immediately, RPD officers are barred from using dogs, tear gas, and concussion grenades. They are also prohibited from taping over their badges to hide their names and they are restricted in their use of pepper balls.

The changes come after the civil unrest of 2020, when activists took to the streets to protest the deaths of Daniel Prude and George Floyd. According to CITY Magazine reporter Gino Fanelli, local lawmakers criticized RPD’s response to those demonstrations as “disproportionate.”

This hour, we discuss the changes and what they mean for officers, for community members, and for police-community relations. Our guests:

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.