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Rochester officials respond to violence, parties over the weekend

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: May 26, 2020 03:25 PM
Created: May 25, 2020 03:58 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — City of Rochester officials are responding to several incidents over the weekend where large crowds gathered to party, with some devolving into fights.

Mayor Lovely Warren posted a response on Facebook Monday to the violent incidents and parties that happened over the holiday weekend.

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On Friday, nearly 300 people gathered for a party near Boston Street and Joseph Avenue and fights broke out.

Rochester Police Department Chief La'Ron Singletary has since said the department will not tolerate such gatherings.

On Sunday, two people were hospitalized after a large fight led to a stabbing on Weyl Street and a man was stabbed on South Clinton Avenue.

Police dispersed crowds on North Clinton Avenue early Monday morning.

Mayor Lovely Warren posted on her Facebook page Monday, condemning the parties and fights, saying, "You must like what people say about our community. Calling us fools and spewing hateful rhetoric and other names. It breaks my heart to constantly hear...lock them up, throw tear gas on them, treat them like animals...put them in cages."

Besides Mayor Warren, News10NBC also asked Deputy Mayor James Smith about the fight.

"We have been working so hard on the issue of violence in this community with so many wonderful partners who are very committed to try and end you know what we saw over this weekend," Smith said.

Monroe County Legislator Vince Felder said he was horrified, and disturbed when he watched a video of the fight.

"To see people acting like that, and it makes you wonder what drove that level of rage," said Felder.

Just a few hours later, this time on Rauber Street, police were again called in to disperse a crowd of over 200 people.

Both men say the city and police department are doing everything they can to prevent this from happening. Legislator Felder says people need to take personal responsibility for their behavior

"You can arrest, arrest, arrest, but if people don't want to change their behavior there's almost nothing you can do but put them in jail when they finally do something that causes you to put them in jail," Felder said.

Smith says the city does have issues with violence which is very concerning.

"It's not something we can legislate. It's not something we can you know no matter how hard we try, no matter how many police officers we have on the street, we need for people to understand that when they pick up a gun when they have a gun, in particular, a gun and they use that weapon it is just unacceptable," Smith said.

After RPD and several other local agencies had to break up fights at Ontario Beach Park Monday night, Chief La'Ron Singletary released a statement Tuesday. It reads, in part:

"While it was a busy weekend, there are no excuses for the nonsensical spate of behavior that some exhibited in our community.  The fights and the disruptive behavior that occurred are intolerable in nature and those involved should be embarrassed of the behavior exhibited. 
 
Laws serve as a guide to direct the behavior of individuals in our society, with consequences for those who do not abide by the law.  It is an individual choice to exercise decent behavior and unfortunately over the weekend, we saw many examples of those who chose not to do so.   
 
RPD will continue to take a stand on intolerable behavior exhibited by those in our community, as is evidenced by the arrests made and summons issued during this past weekend.  Arrests and citations alone will not solve this problem.  It is also up to individuals to decide to act in a manner consistent with the values of our society."

The statement also recognized officers for their hard work over the weekend.


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