Sheriff Baxter, RPD Chief Singletary say ‘professional protesters’ from outside Rochester behind violence

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Law enforcement officials from the area said outsiders and “professional protestors” were behind the violence on Saturday’s protest.

“What you saw here today was chaos. Pure chaos not a protest.” Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said. “What happened today was sparked by anarchists.”

The event started at 1 p.m. peacefully, but by the evening, tear gas had been deployed, police cars had been vandalized, and other vehicles had been flipped over and set on fire.

MORE | Cars set on fire, tear gas deployed at Black Lives Matter rally in Rochester

The rally coincided with similar events that have been going on in cities around the country in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter also spoke and said they were aware of what is happening across the nation, but it can’t be fixed by crimes.

“We have empathy, we have anger for what occurred in Minnesota, but we will not let the city be burned down. It will not be tolerated,” the sheriff said. Baxter said they believe the loots are being led by the same “outside anarchists.”

“You don’t fix it by committing acts of grand larceny,” the sheriff said.

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

A curfew was issued for all of Monroe County beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing through 7 a.m. on Sunday. Singletary said that RPD officers will be out, enforcing the curfew and picking up people who violate it.

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