RPD on protest investigation: ‘People need to be held accountable’

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials with the Rochester Police Department spoke on Tuesday to thank the community for the support and provide information on riots, arrests and its plans moving forward.

“One of the high points that I wanted to touch on was the resiliency of the Rochester community,” Deputy Chief of Communications Mark Mura said. “The Rochester Police Department certainly understands, and we support the first amendment rights of our community, but we can’t ignore the unrest.”

As a result of rioting and looting that took place Saturday following peaceful protests, five people suffered non-life threatening injuries and 13 people were arrested. Rochester police officials released a new batch of photos of people in connection to Saturday’s violent protests outside the Public Safety Building.

Mura as well as Captain Frank Umbrino said more arrests are coming.

“We have been overwhelmed with the amount of responses,” Umbrino said referring to asking the public’s help in identifying those who possibly cause destruction, or witnessed it over the weekend.

“If there’s one person out there doing bad things, there are 10 people out there that are really upset about it.”

Mura said when a protest is organized, the department usually reaches out to the organizers. “We try to reach out when we know a protest is going to take place. We try to reach out and come up with ground rules or understanding with whose organizing that part of the protest.”

Referring to what happened after the organized, peaceful protest concluded and the rioting began, Umbrino said those people need to be held accountable for their actions.

“People need to be held accountable for their actions and our job as the police department is to hold people accountable.”

In a press conference earlier on Tuesday, organizers from Free the People ROC gathered Tuesday outside of the Locust Club, the Rochester Police Department Union, to outline specific changes they want to see from local leaders and the police force.

In a response to the looting and rioting, the group said in a statement, The events that took place after the rally, in different parts of the city, are the inevitable consequence of the exploitation of our labor, the extraction of our wealth, and the disregard for our basic humanity.”

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