Three officers were hospitalized after suffering cuts, severe swellings, burns and bruises from “projectiles and incendiary devices,” police told local news outlets. A bus stop went up in flames and diners hurried out of restaurants where people were throwing tables and breaking glass to the singing of protest.
They were the most recent episodes of violence and destruction as communities across the country were plagued by outrage over the murder and use of force by police against black Americans. The recent fatal shootings and clashes between right and left protesters in Portland, Oregon and Kenosha, Wisconsin have made residents nervous and leaders pleading for peace.
Rochester Police, who did not respond to requests from the Washington Post for comment, told Spectrum News that 1
A second video from early Saturday morning captured a screaming crowd surrounding a car that was initially slowing down before moving on when a man briefly jumped on the vehicle. The video also showed a second driver spraying a substance on protesters and hitting a person as the car drove by.
A police spokeswoman told the Democrat and Chronicle that no one reported being hit by cars and that no arrests had been made in connection with the videotaped collision on East Avenue and Alexander Street.
However, the drivers called the police and one filed a criminal complaint, the police told the Democrat and the Chronicle.
As in other cities, the protests in Rochester started peacefully, according to local reporters and videos shared on social media. The Democrat and The Chronicle reported that at least 1,000 people appeared to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park Friday night to sing and account for Prude’s death – including the resignation of the mayor and the chief of police. Seven police officers were suspended after the video highlighted Prude’s arrest.
“You’re trying to kill me!” The 41-year-old man says in the recordings after the police covered his head with a controversial “spit hood”, which is supposed to protect the officers from body fluids. According to an autopsy report released by WROC, officials said he had had a nervous breakdown and died days later in a hospital of the murder that the coroner classified as a murder of “complications of asphyxiation from physical restraint.”
“Mr. Daniel Prude has been failed by our police, our mental health system, our society and me,” Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren (D) said Thursday, adding that the police chief had previously told her that Prude Overdosed on drugs while in detention.
Police response to protests against Prude’s death has sparked new criticism of officers’ tactics, with some deciphering the use of tear gas and violence.
Friday night protesters and police officers across the country clashed in Portland, where 100 consecutive days of protest took place over the weekend, amid a national race and police reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Police used tear gas in front of a police union building in Portland north of the city, a popular protest venue in recent months, and detained several demonstrators, who they described as targeted arrests.
A bloody-faced woman who was arrested by police was taken away in an ambulance.
Fenit Nirappil contributed to this report.