ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Rochester police dispersed demonstrators from in front of City Hall on Wednesday morning as protests over the suffocation death of Daniel Prude continued.
Protesters who gathered outside the downtown building Tuesday had said that they would remain there until police officers involved in Prude’s detainment in March were arrested and fired.
A line of helmeted officers swept through the area around city hall at about 8 a.m. Dozens of chanting protesters remained on the scene for several hours. Police said 16 people had been arrested cited for disorderly conduct.
The city has been roiled by protests since police body camera videos were made public by Prude’s family earlier this month. The videos show Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushes his face against the ground, while another officer presses a knee to his back. The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later.
Police commanders this summer urged city officials to hold off on publicly releasing the footage because they feared it could incite violence if it came out during nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Mayor Lovely Warren on Monday fired Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and suspended two top city officials without pay for 30 days amid continuing fallout from Prude’s death.
Protesters have called for Warren to resign.