Rochester, NY police arrested 11 people and three officers were injured Friday night after protests against racial justice turned violent, according to local reports.
Protesters clashed with police for a third night after the chairman of the Rochester Police Union defended the seven officers linked to the death of Daniel Prude, 41.
Prude, a black man, died of asphyxiation on March 30, of which drug use was a factor, after police placed a “spit bag” over his head when he was arrested a week earlier.
The crowds gathered earlier on Friday evening, facing police for the first time around 11 p.m., with a subsequent clash later that night, Spectrum News reported. Eleven people were arrested on a variety of charges ranging from illegal gathering to civil unrest.
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Three policemen were treated for cuts and bruises on their hands and legs, and one policeman suffered burns in his neck, the police said. The officers were later released.
During the first confrontation, the police declared the protest “illegal”
Poice replied with pepper balls and spray.
An hour later, police and protesters clashed again, with protesters allegedly throwing fireworks, according to footage from local news teams. Rioters set fire to property around the protests.
The previous Friday, the police union defended the officers linked to Prude’s death, saying they had followed protocol. The day before, the mayor had suspended the officers pending an investigation.
“An officer does not have the opportunity to deviate from the script,” said union president Michael Mazzeo at a press conference, reported the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “They have to follow the protocol and do what they are trained to do.”
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The Rochester Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Brie Stimson contributed to this report.