Several protesters were arrested in New York City on Wednesday night after a grand jury in Rochester announced that it cleared seven cops of criminal charges in the death of Daniel Prude.
At least nine people were arrested as dozens of protesters marched through McCarren Park in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn around 7pm, witnesses told the New York Post, and police confirmed some arrests were made.
Protesters allegedly began attacking pedestrians and were seen spray painting a taxi cab and street cafes, witnesses told the outlet. One picture shows an American flag on fire after it was burned by protesters.
The NYPD said it was a ‘scheduled protest’ and the department had ‘plenty of resources at McCarren Park,’ noting that no additional units were necessary.
The protest comes a day after seven Rochester cops were cleared in the death of Prude, 41, who was handcuffed while he was naked and had a spit hood placed over his head until he stopped breathing last March during a mental health crisis. Video of his arrest was only made public six months later after city officials deliberately delayed its release.
An NYPD officer arrests a protester who grips onto the handle of a bicycle after a small group marched in Brooklyn on Wednesday
A protester is seen with his hands in zip tie handcuffs after he was arrested by NYPD officers with the Strategic Response Group
A Black Lives Matter protester is pictured spray painting the side of a street cafe set up amid the coronavirus pandemic during a protest in Brooklyn
An American flag was burned by Black Lives Matter protesters in Brooklyn on Wednesday after no charges were found in relation to Daniel Prude’s death
Officers with the NYPD respond to McCarren Park after a group of BLM protesters took streets after a Rochester grand jur found no charges for the death of Daniel Prude
Officers with the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group wear face shields as they responded to a small group of protesters in Brooklyn on Wednesday
NYPD officers carrying zip ties are pictures lining up while responding to a small protest in Brooklyn on Wednesday night
Citizen App users noted that helicopters were heard flying overhead and that specialized police were on the scene for the protest. According to the New York Post, more than 300 cops responded to the protest.
‘There were twenty cops for every protester,’ one Citizen App user claimed on the platform.
Another small group of protesters was also pictured demonstrating in Rochester for the second night, the Democrat & Chronicle reported. In one image, a protester tapes flyers on the front doors of the Public Safety Building.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters marched on police stations and public buildings upstate after a grand jury announced that it cleared seven cops of criminal charges in the death of Daniel Prude.
Prude, 41, was handcuffed while he was naked and had a spit hood placed over his head until he stopped breathing last March during a mental health crisis.
He died a week after the ordeal and a medical examiner ruled his death a homicide caused by ‘complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint’.
On March 23, Prude was in the throes of a mental health crisis when his family requested help from police.
Bodycam footage of the incident, where Prude can be heard saying, ‘You’re trying to kill me’, was only made public six months later after city officials deliberately delayed its release. It sparked nightly protests in the New York town.
Officers Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Mark Vaughn, along with Sgt. Michael Magri, were suspended after Prude’s death became public.
The protesters had gathered around 7.30pm at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Samuel McCree Way, where Daniel Prude met police, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.
An officer with the NYPD arrests a protester in Brooklyn on Wednesday, center, as one is seen putting his hands up, left
Passersby are stuck at a police line after people protested Daniel Prude’s death and march through Williamsburg, Brooklyn, spray painting and moving street furniture into the road to slow down police before several arrests were made
Officers with the NYPD Strategic Response Group put handcuffs on a protester as they grip a railing in Brooklyn on Wednesday
Protesters were seen picking up street barricades during a protest in Brooklyn on Wednesday, during which several people were arrested
A Black Lives Matter protester marches with a ‘no justice in a racist capitalist system’ sign in Brooklyn on Wednesday
A protester marches with a painting of Daniel Prude after no charges were found by a grand jury upstate in relation to Prude’s death
The March 23 video made public on Sept. 4 was released in the wake of street demonstrations around the nation over George Floyd´s death. It shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head
Stanley Martin, organizer of Free the People and a candidate for City Council, addressed the crowd.
‘White supremacy protects white supremacists,’ she said. ‘(The system) is not meant to protect us. The system did exactly what it was meant to do.’
She continued: ‘We keep marching; we keep fighting; we keep reimaging what the future looks like. The future does not include the RPD and I know that for a fact.’
Protesters were caught on video climbing over police barricades near a police station and coming face-to-face with cops as the department warned people on Twitter to avoid the area.
Daniel Prude’s death last March and the release of the video six months later sparked nightly protests in Rochester, New York
Eventually, officers retreated into the station station receiving cheers from the crowd, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.
By 9.45pm, the remaining crowd marched on interstate highway I-490 to the Public Safety Building, where protesters clashed with cops throughout 2020.
The protest ended just before midnight with the crowd vowing to return, according to the outlet. There were no arrests reported and no apparent physical clashes with law enforcement.
State Attorney General Letitia James, whose office took over the prosecution and impaneled a grand jury, said her office ‘presented the strongest case possible’ and she was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the decision not to charge the seven officers involved.
‘The criminal justice system has frustrated efforts to hold law enforcement officers accountable for the unjustified killing of African Americans. And what binds these cases is a tragic loss of life in circumstances in which the death could have been avoided,’ James said at the Aenon Missionary Baptist Church in Rochester.
‘One recognizes the influences of race, from the slave codes to Jim Crow to lynching to the war on crime to the overincarceration of people of color: Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. And now Daniel Prude,’ James later added.
Barricades were placed in front of the Public Safety Building in downtown Rochester in anticipation for the decision on Tuesday.
Lawyers for the seven police officers suspended over Prude’s death have said the officers were strictly following their training that night, employing a restraining technique known as ‘segmenting.’ They claimed Prude’s use of PCP, which caused irrational behavior, was ‘the root cause’ of his death.
Prude’s family filed a federal lawsuit in September alleging the police department sought to cover up the true nature of his death.
Protesters surround a police substation in Rochester on Tuesday after a grand jury voted not to charge officers for the death of Daniel Prude
A protester was seen with a Justice 4 Daniel Prude shirt while wearing a ski mask that did not cover their mouth on Tuesday
Protesters walk against traffic on Interstate 490, headed toward the Public Safety Building on Tuesday in Rochester
The county medical examiner listed the manner of death as homicide caused by ‘complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint’ and cited PCP as a contributing factor.
James recommended that officers and other responders be trained to recognize the symptoms of excited delirium syndrome, which can make people vulnerable to cardiac arrest. The medical examiner and the attorney general´s expert both concluded that Prude was in a state of excited delirium.
The attorney general also called for communities to minimize or eliminate police responses to mental health calls and to find alternatives to the type of ‘spit sock’ officers placed over Prude´s head. She said the mesh hood clearly added to Prude´s stress and agitation.
Democratic Mayor Lovely Warren fired police chief La’Ron Singletary shortly after the video’s release, while rejecting calls from demonstrators that she resign.
Barricades were placed in front of the Public Safety Building in anticipation for the decision in Rochester on Tuesday
More barricades placed around the front of the Public Safety Building in anticipation for the grand jury decision on Tuesday
The city halted its investigation into Prude’s death when James’ office began its own investigation in April. Under New York law, deaths of unarmed people in police custody are typically turned over to the attorney general´s office, rather than handled by local officials.
James planned to meet with Prude’´s brother, criminal justice advocates and faith leaders in Rochester to devise a plan to fight for a more just system.
‘The voices of individuals of good will must be heard and they are marching and crying out for a criminal justice system that is fair and just,’ James said Tuesday. ‘And so we must use boulders of righteousness, and hammers of intentional activism and mallets of moral clarity to bend the arc, the moral arc, towards justice and bring real equality in our time for all God´s people.’