ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and County Executive Adam Bello have declared a local state emergency in the city and across Monroe County after a Black Lives Matter rally turned violent around 5 p.m. Saturday.
“Today’s actions on our streets show that the anger is real and it must be recognized and it has to be addressed,” Lovely said. “I too am very angry. I share the pain as a black woman, as the wife of a black man and as a mother of a black child. I have dedicated my life and my career to fighting and eliminating injustice.”
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.
“Today in Martin Luther King Park, many people of all races, ethnicities and cultures came together peacefully to express their anger and to call for change.”
The mayor emphasized the violence began after the organizers wrapped up the protest, and began by people outside of the Rochester community.
“Unfortunately, after this group of people left — outsiders and I do mean outsiders, not from our city, not from our community — decided to set police cars on fire. Look at the videos show those pictures. Their actions set other events into motions and effectively overshadowed the meaningful moment.”
Bello said he attended the protest earlier in the day on Saturday. “The peaceful display earlier has been overshadowed by chaos,” Bello said. “We’ve seen cars set on fire, buildings broken into, and chaos in the streets. As a result I’m issuing a state of emergency, and a curfew which goes into effect at 9 p.m.”
A tweet put out by the City of Rochester reads:
A curfew is hereby established whereby pedestrian and vehicular traffic is prohibited, except essential emergency vehicles and personnel during the hours of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. throughout the entire City of Rochester.
Rochester Police Department will be out, enforcing the curfew and picking up people who violate it. Other community leaders spoke encouraging residents to stay home and stay peaceful.
Meanwhile, Irondequoit Town Supervisor Dave Seeley has alerted residents to reports of looting along East Ridge Road.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.