Thousands of volunteers help to restore community after night of chaos consumes Rochester

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Thousands of volunteers went out into their neighborhoods Sunday morning to begin the cleanup process after violence and looting rocked the community.

So far, officials report five injuries, all non-life threatening, and 13 arrests, but officials say more arrests are coming.

MORE | 200 additional NYSP troopers sent to Rochester, National Guard on standby in anticipation of more unrest

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren joined some 2,000 local residents at Frontier Field Sunday morning to discuss and organize community clean up and restoration efforts in the aftermath of a night of unrest and chaos.

This comes after a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest turned violent Saturday, ending in looting, overturned cars, vandalized businesses and more destruction.

GALLERY | Visuals from wild Saturday that saw a peaceful protest turn violent and a community torn by looting

At Sunday’s press conference, each local leader condemned those responsible for what happened Saturday.

“What happened last night was unacceptable, and is not reflective of this community.,” Bello said. “It was violence, and looters, taking advantage of a situation.”

“I want to be clear, the people who stepped up for a peaceful protest aren’t the ones who agitated,” Mayor Warren said. “It was a trap and our city fell into it.”

“I can’t say how disappointed I am. I grew up in this city,” Sheriff Baxter said. “People are destroying their own community. It’s deplorable.”

“People will be held accountable,” Chief Singletary said. “This was an organized attack by anarchists.”

Singletary announced that 13 people were arrested in the aftermath of the protest, and he promised more arrests would be coming.

City officials say the Rochester Fire Department, Department of Environmental Services and Neighborhood and Business Development are all working together to assess the damage.

They’ll then use city resources and outside contractors to secure buildings, remove trash and debris and ensure the safety of the community’s buildings.

MORE | Bello, Warren say peaceful protest was ‘hijacked by chaos’

All were encouraged to pitch in for community clean up.

“It brings tears to my eyes, not necessarily for me, but for all the kids that grow up under me,” said Stan P, a man helping to clean up Sunday morning. “I don’t believe that this was just a looting or a riot issue. This is a ‘we need help and nobody’ listening issue.’ So a lot of people are taking advantage of the situation by stealing and taking.”

Garbage bags, PPE and other cleaning materials will be provided. The city will direct volunteers to areas in need of the most support.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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