A large crowd of demonstrators flooded the streets Friday in Rochester, New York to protest the March death of a Black man Daniel Prude in police custody.
PROTESTER: “What’s his name? Daniel Prude!”
Marchers held signs that read CONVICT KILLER COPS and DEFUND THE POLICE…as the demonstrations gave way to tense confrontations between cops and protesters, with video showing police appearing to shoot projectiles and chemical irritants into the crowd.
PROTESTER: “Don’t breathe in the smoke!”
PROTESTER: "It's our constitutional right to assemble, and they're infringing on our rights."
Protests first erupted after Prude’s family released footage from his arrest, showing a group of officers putting a mesh hood over Prude's head - apparently to prevent his spit from possibly transmitting the novel coronavirus - as he kneels naked and restrained on the street.
Prude died after the encounter. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide caused by "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint," with intoxication by the drug PCP, among additional contributing factors.
Seven police officers were suspended Thursday over the arrest.
The head of Rochester, New York's police union on Friday defended the actions of officers involved in Prude’s arrest, saying they followed protocols in using a hood to restrain him.
The Rochester protests have turned the city of 200,000 people in the northwest corner of the state into the latest flash point in a summer of civil unrest over racism and police brutality.