Video shows an anti-police protest getting physical in New York state on Monday night as demonstrators overturned barricades outside of a local police station, Breitbart reported.
The shocking scene reportedly unfolded in Rochester as protesters aligned with Black Lives Matter expressed outrage over the pepper-spraying of a 9-year-old girl by police.
Protests in Rochester
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, a group of roughly 200 protesters marched through the city’s downtown Monday night, eventually making their way to the Clinton Section RPD office, where they chanted “Black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace,” before toppling the barriers.
The large crowd then advanced to the police station, where some began rattling the main gate, as seen in video shared by Breitbart. “RPD, look what you did, you just maced a little kid,” they chanted, as the Democrat and Chronicle reported.
Protesters successfully overturn the barricades set up outside this Rochester Police station and make their way up to the inner parking lot fence #Rochester #NewYork #RochesterPD #RochesterProtests pic.twitter.com/LwOj1yh820
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) February 1, 2021
Outrage after girl maced, restrained
Police told the crowd to disperse over a loudspeaker, and they did without incident. As they left, a “caravan” of cars honked in solidarity, said journalist Brendan Gutenschwager.
The protests came after the release of bodycam footage from the Friday arrest of a 9-year-old girl. According to the New York Post, the video shows the girl screaming for her father during a struggle before a cop says, “Just spray her at this point.” The cops involved were suspended.
Demonstrators demanded their firing, the Democrat and Chronicle reported, and some called for Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren to step down for failing to take more punitive action. The mayor had denounced the “horrible” incident but said she was unable to take “more immediate and serious action,” the paper reported.
Police: That’s not “who we are”
Reports indicated that police had been summoned by the girl’s custodial parent, who said she was threatening to harm herself and others. The cops initially said they were “required” to restrain the girl on the ground because she started kicking at officers, but Rochester police expressed remorse over the way the incident was handled Sunday.
“I’m not going to stand here and tell you that for a 9-year-old to have to be pepper-sprayed is OK. It’s not,” Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said, according to the Independent.
“I don’t see that as who we are as a department, and we’re going to do the work we have to do to ensure that these kinds of things don’t happen,” she added.
The scene outside the police station was mild compared to riots that unfolded in Rochester in September, when activists lit fires, assaulted police, and harassed restaurant patrons amid a summer of violent unrest, as Breitbart reported.