“#Rochester police use sound cannon to end hours-long standoff with protesters”
September 13, 2020 | 5:18pm
Rochester Police officers facing off with protesters last night.
Shawn Dowd/Democrat and Chronicl
The latest night of unrest sparked by 41-year-old Prude’s fatal arrest started with hundreds in a rally at 9:30 p.m. Saturday — with agitators “wearing helmets, makeshift armor and carrying shields” infiltrating otherwise peaceful protesters, police said.
Before things turned violent, Prude’s brother, Joe Prude, took a microphone to shout at officers forming a line blocking the street, according to video shared by the Democrat and Chronicle.
“Half you motherf—ers don’t even stay in the city. We live here every god motherf—ing day,” Prude yelled at the officers in the clip.
“We’re more worried about what the f–k y’all will do to us than we’re worried about what the f–k we’ll do to each other,” he said to cheers from protesters.
Rochester police said “agitators” then pushed passed the line of community elders who have been brought in to try to “keep the protest peaceful.”
“Agitators moved to within 5-10 feet of the officers, at which time it became an officer safety issue,” the force said in a release, claiming “officers began to take bottles, rocks, and eggs from the crowd.”
Police fired back with pepper balls, and the Democrat and Chronicle reported that officers also used pepper spray.
An armored BearCat was also brought in, as well as a Long Range Acoustic Device — known as a sound cannon — playing deafening squeals to drown out protesters and control the crowd, the local paper noted.
At least one officer was seen getting knocked to the ground, the paper said, with the force saying they “continued to have bottles and rocks thrown at them.”
The protesters finally left just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday, police said — just over four hours after the standoff had started.
Three Rochester locals were arrested, including a 50-year-old man, Nicholas Wilt, busted on charges of unlawful assembly and resisting arrest, the force said.
Ashley Moore, 34, was arrested for second-degree harassment, and Richard Yaniak, 37, for unlawful assembly and inciting riot, the force said, with no further details on the allegations against them.
The upstate city has seen protests every night since Sept. 2, when bodycam video was released showing officers putting a “spit hood” over Prude’s head and shoving his face to the ground till he stopped breathing while he suffered a mental breakdown on the street in March.
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