ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester City Council heard from constituents via Zoom Wednesday, in light of the police-involved death of Daniel Prude and subsequent protests.
Many callers raised concerns about the methods used by Rochester police during protests, including police use of pepper rounds on protesters.
“I was standing peacefully with a sign, nowhere near police officers, and I was shot with pepper balls by the Rochester Police Department,” one caller said.
The listening session lasted roughly three hours. In their comments to the Council, some callers advocated defunding the Rochester police department and reallocating funds to community initiatives.
“I’ve seen the police respond to protesters in a way that does not befit our city or our society anymore,” said another caller.
“Meeting peaceful protesters with riot gear and military equipment is not refraining from harm,” another caller continued.
Rochester police have told News 8 they use pepper balls when police are targeted with flying objects, when protesters try taking down barriers, and when there is a threat to property.
“Our Rochester police department, we love you, stay strong,” stressed one caller, one of few who called to support officers.