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Racial disparities in Rochester, which have been highlighted by issues surrounding the death of Daniel Prude, was the topic of a live forum broadcast on WXXI-TV and radio on Thursday night as well as online at wxxinews.org.

A panel that included people from the health care, criminal justice and mental health counseling fields talked about a number of problems they see impeding real progress right now for people of color in Rochester.

New interim police chief named for Rochester

Sep 26, 2020
Gino Fanelli/CITY/Twitter

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has appointed a new interim police chief.  And Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan will be the first female to hold the chief’s position for RPD.

She is a former RPD lieutenant who has been employed at the Rochester Housing Authority since 2016, originally working in the areas of compliance, diversity, inclusion and public safety. She currently serves at RHA’s interim Deputy Executive Director.

James Brown/WXXI News file photo

Mayor Lovely Warren is asking for permission to hire a firm to conduct a United States "Department of Justice style review” of the Rochester Police Department. After the death of Daniel Prude, and the alleged cover up that followed, Warren requested a federal investigation into the incident. 

On Wednesday, Warren and city council met with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, known mostly as WilmerHale a law firm that specializes in guiding cities through that process. WilmerHale’s team includes three former United States Attorneys. Those lawyers have worked on many high profile police misconduct cases including those in Baltimore, Chicago, Denver and Ferguson, Missouri. They specialize in analyzing and correcting police policies and practices.

Spectrum News

Free The People Roc, one of the main organizers behind recent protests calling for justice in the wake of the death of Daniel Prude, says it is ending the daily protest near City Hall. A couple of dozen protesters were reportedly still near the building on Church Street Monday night, but the activist organization issued this statement in its Facebook page:

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.”

James Brown / WXXI News

Additional counseling services will be available at area churches and schools Sunday to provide support to the community in response to the Saturday morning shooting on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“This is Rochester,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “When tragedy strikes, we come together and help those who need it. If you are suffering, please take advantage of these services. Your community is here for you. Rochester is here for you. Thank you to all those who are offering these critical services to help our community begin to heal.”

Counselors from the Rochester City School District and throughout the community will be on site at five City R-Centers from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday to offer counseling in response to the early morning mass shooting on Pennsylvania Avenue that killed 2 people and injured 14 others.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Rochester Police are releasing more details about one of the worst mass shootings in the city’s history.

It happened early Saturday morning after a party outside a house in the 200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.  Two young people died at the scene, and 14 others were wounded.

The people who died have been identified as Jaquayla Young, who graduated last year from East High School, and Jarvis Alexander, who graduated last year from UPrep, a charter school in the city. Both were 19 years old.

James Brown / WXXI News

On Wednesday, city officials announced an initiative to improve the community response to gun violence and health crises in Rochester.

City Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot said he’s been working on the crisis intervention services unit for a year and a half. But since the death of Daniel Prude, it’s become even more pressing.

In March, Daniel Prude’s family had contacted police out of concern for his mental well-being. He was suffocated in police custody and died one week later.

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.

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