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social justice

Gino Fanelli/CITY

Officers with the Rochester Police Department brutalized protesters, lawyers, and innocent bystanders during Black Lives Matter protests in September, according to a federal lawsuit filed in the United States Western New York District Court.


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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP)  Attorneys for the five children of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after being restrained by police during a mental health episode, announced a federal lawsuit Monday against the city of Rochester, alleging wrongful death and civil rights violations.

The family claims in the suit in U.S. District Court that both the actions of the Rochester police and an "attempted cover-up" by the department and city government violated Prude's constitutional rights, attorneys for the family said in a statement.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

The decision by a grand jury not to indict Rochester Police officers involved in the incident last March that eventually led to the death of Daniel Prude brought hundreds of protesters to different parts of the city on Tuesday night.

It started with speeches by activists and a gathering on Jefferson Avenue, where so many other protests started out last year. Jefferson Avenue is where Prude was pinned to the pavement by police after they responded to the reports of a man acting erratically. Prude suffocated after being held down by officers, and he died a week later.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

More than 150 people rallied and marched Monday evening along Clinton Ave. in Rochester, gathering in front of a police substation. They were there to object to the handcuffing and pepper spraying of a 9-year old-girl last week.

With chants of "protect our children," the dozens of demonstrators, who included some area politicians and community activists, got together to let Rochester Police know they are upset about the way that young girl was treated last Friday.

PAB launching probe into RPD protest response

Jan 26, 2021
Max Schulte / CITY/WXXI

The Rochester Police Accountability Board announced Tuesday that it is launching its first formal investigation, targeting the Rochester Police Department’s response to the Black Lives Matter protests of last year.

The board is looking to evaluate RPD’s current policy on crowd control and how force was utilized in the protests, as well as past crowd control efforts at events like the Puerto Rican Festival.

Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is expanding its deployment of community vaccination kits to strengthen fairness and equity in the distribution process for COVID-19 vaccines.

The governor made the announcement in Brooklyn on Saturday, noting that the state recently piloted the deployment kits to several senior housing developments in New York City.

A new survey from Siena College shows that only about a third of New Yorkers think that race relations in the state are either excellent or good. That compares to about two-thirds of them who say that race relations are either fair or poor.

University of Rochester/SEIU Local 1199

The official Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is Monday, January 18, as the legacy of the civil rights leader is marked in several events around the Rochester area.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, many activities this year are being held virtually.

Urban League/Zoom

More than 450 people attended the first day of Rochester’s Interrupt Racism Summit on Tuesday. The two-day virtual summit sponsored by The Urban League of Rochester educates people on how to dismantle racism at their workplaces and in their communities.

In her keynote speech to participants, Urban League of Rochester CEO Seanelle Hawkins said many organizations will speak out against racism without addressing systemic problems in their own organization.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the current poetry editor for New York Times Magazine, and was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate for 2019-2021. Her most recent collection of poems, “The Tiny Journalist,” puts a human face on war and violence. It was inspired by a young Palestinian activist.

Nye will be in Rochester this Friday as a guest of BOA Editions, but first, she joins us on Connections to discuss her work, the role of poetry, and the impact young people can have on social movements. Our guests:

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