Peaceful protest over Daniel Prude’s death turns violent overnight

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Protests continued overnight as thousands of people marched in Rochester over Daniel Prude’s death.

Prude died after he was detained by Rochester police in March. His death has been ruled a homicide. The protest started peacefully at Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park, but just before 11 p.m. that changed.

Police say they maintained their distance until the crowd started throwing bottles and rocks at officers.

Police used pepper spray and pepper balls to try and break up the crowd. Around midnight, police say agitators started throwing fireworks at officers and that’s when they say they deployed tear gas for the first time.

Protesters also marched to Alexander Street where they confronted diners.

The protester’s organizer, Ashely Gantt addressed diners at Swan Dive where she explained the story of Daniel Prude. She finished off by telling diners “Pay and then start walking.”

Chants of “Out of the bar, into the streets” continued.

Some protesters then walked across the street to Ox and Stone where they ended up smashing glasses and flipping tables.

News10NBC talked to one demonstrator about what needs to change.

"This is not going to end until Mayor Warren until she resigns, and the chief resigns. They hid everything, it’s bottom line, everybody knows it. They lied, now it’s time for her to go. It’s that simple. She was supposed to work for the people, but she wasn’t working for us".

Members from "The Community Justice Initiative" say police are to blame for inciting the violence.

The group claims police are labeling the protests as "unlawful gathering" to terrorize protesters by using pepper bullets, tear gas and arresting people from their group.