Updated: May 30, 2020 04:32 PM
Created: May 30, 2020 01:11 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Hundreds of people gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Rochester on Saturday before marching to the Public Safety Building to protest the killing of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality.
Floyd died Monday in police custody after begging for help as a former Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin his neck to the ground. The incident has led to protests and riots across the country.
Local protesters have since marched on the Public Safety Building now that speakers have concluded their speeches at the event. Further speeches then took place outside of the Public Safety Building before protestors dispersed into smaller groups and marches, with one large group heading to Washington Square Park before returning to the Public Safety Building.
The demonstration was organized by a local Black Lives Matter group, which issued the following statement regarding Saturday's protest.
“Today we stand in solidarity with Minnesota protesters and victims of police brutality. The murder of George Floyd is not a unique or isolated incident, but part of a nationwide epidemic of police violence.”
Countless Black and brown members of our community have been targeted and brutalized by the Rochester Police Department, who suffer no consequences for their abuses. Our communities are tired of worrying about our children, neighbors, and loved ones, and whether they will return home safely.
The COVID-19 pandemic is leading states and municipalities to make devastating cuts to vital programs and services, yet police departments across the country have remained immune to the worst of these cuts. Families in Rochester don’t need mass policing and surveillance. They need stable housing, fully funded schools, living wage jobs, mental health, and substance use services. This is the moment for us to have the moral courage to divest from policing and invest in our communities.”
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
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