ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On Wednesday, Sept. 15, a Frederick Douglass statue was found toppled on Aqueduct Street and on two days later a Daniel Prude mural was defaced on Child Street. Community leaders gathered around the ruined Frederick Douglass statue Saturday to call for new hate crime legislation.
Mikey Johnson with Save Rochester says it’s an attack the community, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It is clear to us that whatever the motivation is behind these attacks, the targets of these attacks represent black liberation,” Johnson said. “We are recommending surveillance and hate crime laws for vandalism.”
On-scene speakers explained that no matter what your political affiliation is, it’s something everyone needs to come together on.
“We need unity, it’s not about differences, it’s about where we come together and this is one thing we can all stand up for and say this is not at all a good look for our city,” Marcus Williams, community member and City Council candidate said.
Meanwhile over on Child Street, a mural where Daniel Prude’s face was defaced Friday around 8 p.m., lies right in front of his brother Joe’s house.
According to Joe Prude, the defacing came just a few days before what would’ve been Prude’s birthday. On Saturday night, he invited friends and family out to celebrate in his honor.
But Daniel’s face, only an empty silhouette remains.
“It means a big deal to me, a big deal, I come out of my door, any one of these neighbors’ doors, and see my brother right there on that wall, I don’t get to see my brother no more,” Joe said. “It’s more than that, it’s more than that I still want to see someone held accountable for that.”
Rochester Police are investigating both incidents. The New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force is also assisting in the Prude mural investigation.
The project director of “Reenergize the Legacy of Frederick Douglass” says the statue will be replaced.
Police are urging anyone with additional information to contact 911.