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NYCLU Statement on Rochester Police Response to Protest

ROCHESTER – Last night Rochester police deployed military vehicles and dogs, and fired sound cannons, flash bangs, tear gas, and pepper balls against peaceful demonstrators. In recent days Rochester police have increasingly responded with force against people protesting policing and the killing of Daniel Prude.

The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

“What happened in Rochester last night is not what democracy looks like. Rochester police have sworn to serve the people of Rochester, not violently suppress dissent with military tactics. RPD’s violent overreach shows just why our national conversation about reimagining policing is so important and so urgent. It’s an example of why, especially to Black and Brown, New Yorkers policing itself poses a relentless threat.”

The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Genesee Valley Chapter Director Iman Abid:

“The inhumanity Rochester police unleashed last night is the product of an institution that has been granted too much power; Power to abuse the people they serve, power to respond to our voices with their violence, power to act with impunity. People speaking out are not enemy combatants, and to fire flash bangs, tear gas, and pepper balls at demonstrations against police violence only proves the point. The Mayor and RPD must stop these warfare tactics now.”

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