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Police break up 'Occupy City Hall' demonstration

Lynette Adams
Updated: September 16, 2020 12:45 PM
Created: September 16, 2020 08:17 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Things are just about back to normal outside City Hall after Rochester Police dispersed protesters in front of City Hall Wednesday morning.

Around 8:30 a.m., police moved protesters off of the steps of Rochester City Hall after they had held a 24-hour demonstration in front of the building. 

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"This is the Rochester Police Department. Employees and citizens need to access to City Hall," police told the crowds. "You're blocking vehicular and pedestrian traffic to City Hall. You are hereby ordered to clear the sidewalk and street. Failure to disperse the sidewalk and street immediately will result in your arrest."

Demonstrators held their ground as long as they could, but officers eventually cleared them away from the main entrance.

Officers put up barricades in front of the building to keep the protesters at bay. 

While it looked like something more was going to happen, Pastor Myra Brown, who was at her church, Spiritus Christi, helped to negotiate a peaceful resolution.

The protesters originally arrived at City Hall early Tuesday morning in response to the release of a 400-page document outlining the internal investigation into the death of Daniel Prude conducted by Deputy Mayor James Smith.

Demonstrators had said they didn’t plan on leaving until more changes were made. The Prude family and Black Lives Matter supporters still want the officers involved in Prude’s death held accountable.

Crews worked to clean up the remnants of the protesters' 24-hour occupation of City Hall. Garbage trucks came in and tents, signs, and bags were thrown out. Graffiti hand prints and messages painted onto the side of the building were washed away.

Notably, the American flag once again hangs from the pole in front of the building. 

Protesters say they will regroup and continue to demonstrate later Wednesday.

For full coverage on the death of Daniel Prude, click here.


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