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black lives matter

Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Of the more than 170 shows in this year's KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, several are related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

One of them is a production from ROC Freedom Riders.

The group was formed in June, after the May 25 death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

That was before the public knew about an incident -- one that would be compared to Floyd's death -- that had happened in Rochester months earlier. In March, police officers restrained Daniel Prude; he died a week later from the injuries he suffered.

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

The Rev. Lewis Stewart with the United Christian Leadership Ministries said on Wednesday that activists need to change their goals as they protest Daniel Prude's death.

Stewart spoke hours after police began dispersing protesters, who had been occupying outside of City Hall since Tuesday morning. Sixteen people were arrested. There have been daily, largely peaceful protests since news of Prude's death was made public two weeks ago. 

In March, Prude died after police restrained him during a mental health arrest. The medical examiner ruled it a homicide.

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.

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

Protesters occupied the outside of City Hall from morning into the night on Tuesday calling for justice for Daniel Prude.

In March, Prude was having a mental health crisis when his brother called 911. Officers pinned him to the ground and he suffocated. He died a week later.

Daniel’s brother Joe Prude, who made the 911 call, says that he’s tired of waiting for the officers who arrested and restrained his brother to be arrested and fired.

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

Members of the Police Accountability Board on Tuesday called on city officials to include them in ongoing investigations following the death of Daniel Prude after he was restrained and suffocated while in custody. He died a week later.

The civilian-run board, which was established to investigate police misconduct, has been excluded from deliberations over the Rochester Police Department, board chair Shani Wilson said. She said that undermines the point of having an accountability board.

The second Black Kids Matter Rally is set to take place Saturday at Harris Whalen Park. It was organized by local moms who wanted to create a family-friendly BLM event. From drum circles to story time to a short march, the organizers hope to raise awareness of the movement among Rochester's youngest citizens.

We talk to the mothers about the event and broader issues related to diversity, inclusion, and equitable education in our community. Our guests: 

  • Nicolette Ferguson, Black Kids Matter Rally organizer
  • Kristen Turgeon, Black Kids Matter Rally organizer 
  • Ahlia Kitwana, Black Kids Matter Rally organizer
  • Melody Wollgren, Black Kids Matter Rally organizer
  • W.D. Ferguson, Black Kids Matter Rally participant
  • Keegan Turgeon, Black Kids Matter Rally participant

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

For the second time this week, naked, or near-naked protesters have gathered in a public space in Rochester to show support for issues raised by Free The People Roc and other social justice groups in recent days.

The protests began last week when video surfaced of the way Daniel Prude was treated. Police were called to look for him last March by his brother, when Daniel was having a mental health crisis.

Max Schulte

Hundreds of demonstrators converged on the headquarters of the Rochester Police Department for a fifth consecutive night Sunday amid  mounting calls for Mayor Lovely Warren and Police Chief La'Ron Singletary to resign over their handling of the death of Daniel Prude.

Max Schulte | WXXI News

Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement and family support for the Mental Health Association, says that when she saw the police bodycam footage of Daniel Prude’s in-custody death, she could see that he was having a mental health crisis. His behavior was irrational. He was naked in the cold.

“They couldn’t even do so much to put a blanket, show the slightest bit of kindness to put a blanket?” Funchess said. “Because they got him down and put the handcuffs on him, they could have covered him.”

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

 

Activists gathered outside of Rochester City Hall on Thursday morning, demanding that more be done to ensure justice is served for Daniel Prude, his family, and the Black community.

Prude died in March after Rochester police officers restrained him.

The Rev. Lewis Stewart with the United Christian Leadership Ministry said it’s still unclear why it took nearly six months for Prude's death, which was ruled a homicide, to become public knowledge.

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