Are Black Lives Matter protests in Rochester making an impact?

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Blacks Lives Matters protests have filled the streets of Rochester for every weekend in June, bringing racial inequalities to the forefront of public discourse.

The questions is — are these protests making a difference?

While some say there is still work to be done, they also say we are moving toward improving racial equality here in Rochester.

“In my opinion I feel like the protests, they’re working, but it’s showing you who actually cares, and who actually doesn’t, because some people are taking the steps to hear us out, and put things forward to help us and put everything straight and some, they don’t really care,” said Jaquil Baxter, Rochester resident.

A CBS poll from June of this year found the majority of white and black Americans say race relations in the U.S. are bad, even more are saying relations are getting worse.

While the protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a majority of those polled still say police are more likely to use deadly force on people of color and some in Rochester agree.

“I think we need more compassion and it surprises me that even after the George Floyd incident cops are still doing it,” John Hughes, Webster resident.

Recent incidents in Rochester, like radio hosts Kimberly and Beck being fired after making supposed racists comments, could suggest that more people are willing to call out what they see, creating a change in the community.

“Like firing and retiring people that we look up to supposedly and they’re all dying out I think that’s gonna like trickle down into the homestead so,” said Cass Donoghue, Rochester resident.

“I do feel like we are now on that path to a change, I’m not saying right now cause it’s been like, what a month, but the first step is always awareness I feel like now, it’s in the air, I feel it,” said Jimmy Buntley, Rochester resident.

Some protest organizers are still working to make a change in the community, and there are new local initiatives and organizations anyone can join that address racial equality challenges.

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