ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After a week of protests occupying Rochester City Hall, organizers Free The People ROC announced the group is ending the demonstration, which has taken place there since last Tuesday.
The Monday night post said:
“As a result of the thousands of you who have marched, rallied, and occupied City Hall, we’re winning justice for Daniel Prude and his family. On Sunday, Attorney General Tish James announced a new policy to release body cam footage in police brutality cases directly to the public, and today Mayor Warren and RPD Chief Mark Simmons were subpoenaed as part of an investigation into Daniel’s murder.
Our organizers have decided to end Occupy City Hall and plan new actions in the coming weeks. We recognize that taking care of our collective health and wellbeing is a revolutionary act. Systems of oppression want to see us tired and beaten down, but we won’t give them that satisfaction.
We urge those of you who have been out with us every night to rest, reflect, and recharge for the next set of actions. Our movement is just beginning.
The FTP Family”
Since September 2, when Daniel Prude’s death became public, demonstrators have taken to the city streets to demand justice, and resignations from elected officials over the handling of Prude’s death.
Protests have ensued night and day in Rochester for nearly three weeks straight; happening at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Jefferson Avenue, City Hall, the Public Safety Building, and other downtown locations.
The officers involved in Prude’s arrest were suspended on September 3. At first, the protests alternated between MLK Park and Jefferson Avenue — where Prude encountered police back in March. Over the last two weeks, it became a place for grieving, healing and coming together as a community.
Less than one week after details regarding Prude’s death became public, Chief La’Ron Singletary announced his retirement, along with several other members of the RPD command staff.
The site of the protests changed less than a week later when Mayor Warren officially fired Singletary and named Deputy Chief Mark Simmons Interim Chief. The following day, protesters took to City Hall and called for his resignation, citing his actions in a case from 2003 when a 13-year-old girl was shot as the reason.
Protesters set up tents and stayed there every night until Monday night. Organizers released a statement on the Free The People ROC Facebook page, crediting those who marched, rallied and occupied city hall with bringing about real change.
On Sunday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James came to Rochester and announced that the attorney general’s office will independently release body camera footage after the family of a victim has seen it, and no longer wait for local authorities to release the footage. The attorney general’s office has been investigating Prude’s death since April.
“Up until now the release has been up to the discretion of local authorities, but this process has caused confusion, delays and has hampered transparency in a system that should be as open as possible,” James said. “Starting immediately, the Office of Attorney General will actively be releasing footage to the public on our own. We will no longer wait for local authorities to determine when videos should be made available to the public and we will be doing this with eye towards making the footage available to the public as quickly as possible, publicizing the footage as soon as we have shown it to the deceased family.”
On Monday, Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott signed off on the request for subpoenas to be sent in regards to the independent investigation into Daniel Prude’s death. The subpoenas — issued to the entire office of Mayor Lovely Warren, the Rochester Police Department, the City of Rochester’s legal department, and City Council itself — were delivered to independent investigator Andrew Celli Jr. Monday.
Prude, a 41-year-old Black man from Chicago, died after an encounter with Rochester police back in March, but news of the incident just came to light on September 2.
The autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death of Prude a homicide. The report says Prude’s cause of death includes “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” The report also showed that Prude also had a small amount of PCP in his system at the time of his death, which could explain his erratic behavior.
MORE | WATCH: Footage of encounter between Daniel Prude and Rochester police officers before his death
Seven Rochester police officers have been suspended with pay in connection to the incident: Officers Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris, and Sgt. Michael Magri.
Protests have been ongoing in Rochester since the news broke September 2.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.
- Subpoenas issued in Rochester City Council’s independent Daniel Prude investigation
- NY AG Letitia James announces new policy on body camera footage in Rochester
- Attorney for Daniel Prude’s family sues City of Rochester for delaying release of documents, videos
- Local officials pen letter to Gov. Cuomo regarding state police response in Rochester protests
- Rochester City Council, City Hall, and RPD to be subpoenaed soon in Daniel Prude death investigation
- DA Sandra Doorley on Daniel Prude death investigation, protesters calling for resignation
- Lupien, Barnhart ask DOJ to investigate police response to Rochester protests
- Demonstrators call for district attorney’s resignation in 12th straight night of protests in Rochester
- Daniel Prude demonstration in Rochester for 11th night in a row
- Rochester man charged for ‘attacking officers with laser’ during protest for Daniel Prude
- Daniel Prude’s family arrives in Rochester for peaceful celebration of life event
- Joe Prude opens up about brother: ‘There will never be another Daniel’
- Rochester City Council questions Mayor Warren, Police Chief Singletary, RPD staff on protest response
- Rochester police union president Mike Mazzeo denies seeing Daniel Prude video in April
- Rep. Morelle: Mayor Warren, other leaders should ask themselves if they can still be a positive force
- Free the People ROC hosts town hall on policing and public health
- City Council president says Mayor Warren told her Prude’s death was an overdose after mayor saw video
- City of Rochester officials say police union president Mike Mazzeo received Daniel Prude video in April
- Mayor Lovely Warren, Rochester police union president call on each other to resign
- Police use of spit hoods scrutinized after Daniel Prude’s death in Rochester
- Depew Police say Daniel Prude was asked to leave Amtrak train on March 22, day before police encounter
- Rochester police union: Chief’s office said ‘no concern of actions’ by officers at Daniel Prude scene
- Mental health experts: Prude needed help, not police
- 8 arrested, 2 officers injured, pepper spray deployed during Daniel Prude protest in Rochester
- Mayor Lovely Warren: RPD Chief told me Daniel Prude died from an apparent drug overdose
- Daniel Prude’s brother: ‘He didn’t have history of mental health issues’
- Gov. Cuomo on Daniel Prude death: ‘What I saw was deeply disturbing and I demand answers’
- 7 Rochester police officers involved in Daniel Prude death suspended with pay
- Daniel Prude, Black man killed by Rochester police, remembered as loving
- Rochester civil rights groups demand firing, prosecution of officers involved in Daniel Prude’s death
- Protests in Rochester after bodycam video surfaces in death of Daniel Prude
- Daniel Prude’s family demands justice for ‘cold-blooded murder’
- Protest in Rochester sparks after news of Daniel Prude’s death
- Autopsy report: Daniel Prude death ruled a homicide, died from asphyxia due to ‘physical restraint’
- 9 arrested in Rochester during protest at Public Safety Building over Daniel Prude’s death
- WATCH: Footage of encounter between Daniel Prude and Rochester police officers before his death
- Daniel Prude’s death, police encounter caught on body camera sparks NY AG investigation, protests in Rochester