ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Protester began camping outside Rochester City Hall on Tuesday morning and continue to occupy the area into Thursday morning, marking the 17th straight day of protests.
Organizers with Free the People ROC said they would remain until the following demands are met:
- The firing, prosecution and conviction of all seven officers involved; Mark
Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris,
Sgt. Michael Magri, Paul Ricotta.
- Drop criminal charges against all protesters arrested or charged since May 30th.
- The resignation of Mayor Lovely Warren, Deputy Mayor James Smith, District
Attorney Sandra Doorley.
- The removal of Mark Simmons as appointed Interim Chief of Police.
- Pass Daniel’s Law prohibiting police from responding to mental health calls. The
state must ensure that trained mental health providers respond to those who are
having a mental health crisis.
- Immediately end and prohibit the use of chemical weapons by RPD.
- Cut RPDs budget and reallocate resources into community-led services for true
public safety, education and ending poverty and root causes of violence.
- End the City of Rochester’s contract with the Locust Club.”
“We’re going to be here, this is not going to change anything, “said Free the People organizer Ashley Gantt. “It is our right to protest, it is our tradition as black people to protest. What we’re asking for is something that’s not unreasonable. If they can arrest 20 protesters, they can arrest officers Taladay, Vaughn, and Santiago.”
Floodlights and barricades were placed in front of the Public Safety Building on Thursday morning.
Police officers arrived at City Hall Wednesday morning to break up the protesters who were on site for just about 24 hours.
Over a loud speaker Wednesday morning, Rochester Police Department officers said failure to leave the area would result in arrests. Still, demonstrators remained on scene. According to protest organizers Free the People ROC, more than 20 people were arrested.
Rochester police later announced that 16 people were arrested for disorderly conduct in connection to the protest.
This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide information as it becomes availabe.