'Where are the protests lining this street?' asks a group fed up with violence | WHEC.com

'Where are the protests lining this street?' asks a group fed up with violence

Rudy Rivera of the Father Laurence Tracy Advocacy Center speaks to a crowd on April 9, 2021. Photo: News10NBC. Rudy Rivera of the Father Laurence Tracy Advocacy Center speaks to a crowd on April 9, 2021.

Berkeley Brean
Updated: April 09, 2021 06:46 PM
Created: April 09, 2021 05:44 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A man was shot and killed at 1 a.m. Friday on Monroe Avenue near Woodlawn Street. Rochester Police say three people in total were shot. It is Rochester's 19th homicide this year.

This level of violence creates fear in the neighborhoods where people live and work.

"If the police were killing us at the rate we're killing ourselves I suspect this town would be on fire," said Rudy Rivera, CEO of the Father Laurence Tracy Advocacy Center on North Clinton Avenue. "But yet, when we kill ourselves I say to myself 'where are the protests lining this street?'"

Two weeks ago, a man was shot in a parking lot next to the Fr. Tracey Center. His name was Markese Estimable.

Rivera described what he saw.

"Twenty to 30 people there. This man dying on the floor. People walked by him like he was a cigarette butt," Rivera said. "They robbed the young man. People took selfies while the man was dying. The man reached out but nobody paid attention. And that level of depravity, for the people who live here, should not have to endure."

One of those people is Ida Perez. 

"I worry every time I leave my house and when I'm coming home and have to turn the corner of Scramtom [Street] if I'm going to be one of those people in the crossfire," Perez said. 

RPD data says 70 people have been shot and hit with a bullet this year. Eleven of those people have died.

The RPD data shows just one shooting in the area where the news conference was Friday, but that was the homicide Rivera described.

After the news conference, I walked with Ida Perez to her home. 

As we were walking, a dirt bike raced down North Clinton Avenue and did a wheelie in front of us and a parked RPD car.

Brean: "What do you think about this motorbike that's driving around here? Take a look this."

Perez: "Yeah wow. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a helmet. He's not being safe. That's some of the stuff especially when they ride down the side streets where they might be kids playing."

As we walked to Perez's home we passed the parking lot where the homicide happened that Rivera described. 

Brean: "And so you come down your street here and you feel what?"

Perez: "I wish I was in my car I can tell you that right now. I never try to walk down the street if I can avoid it which is sad because I'm going to be doing a lot of that when the International Plaza opens."

The plaza is the park on North Clinton Ave., a place that took decades to build.

It will re-open on April 15, and it sits across the street from where Perez and Rivera held their news conference to say they're fed up with the killings and bad behavior. 

Brean: "What you want is for Rochester Police officers to come here to some extent..."

Rivera: "Yeah."

Brean: "Get out of their car."

Rivera: "Absolutely."

Brean: "Walk up and down the street."

Rivera: "Absolutely my friend, and it's not a complicated intervention. It's just—let people know you're there but engage the people."

Two weeks ago, RPD says it will have foot patrols in targeted areas. 

"A lot of the people doing the open drug market, they don't live here. The people who come and purchase drugs here don't live here," Perez said as we stood across the street from her home. "So I just want people to understand that their actions, what they're doing affects us. It affects us mentally, physically emotionally."

RPD has announced no arrests in the homicide on Monroe Avenue from Friday morning or the homicide on North Clinton Avenue on March 29.

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