One City Promises Police Reforms

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren speaks to the press
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2020 4:10 PM CDT
Rochester Officials: It's Time for Police Reforms
Demonstrators clash with police officers a block from the Public Safety Building in Rochester, NY, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.   (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

After four nights of protest, Rochester is making a change. Mayor Lovely Warren said at a Sunday press conference that the crisis intervention department will be relocating to the city's department of youth and recreation services along with its budget, NBC News reports. "We had a human being in a need of help, in need of compassion. In that moment we had an opportunity to protect him, to keep him warm, to bring him to safety, to begin the process of healing him and lifting him up," Warren said of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died in March when Rochester police tried to control him during an apparent mental health crisis. "We have to own the fact that in the moment we did not do that."

At the same presser, Police Chief La'Ron Singletary said was consulting experts on how people with mental health issues who regularly encounter the police can access outpatient services. "I understand that there are certain calls that law enforcement shouldn't handle alone and we are looking at ways to reimagine policing surrounding mental health, and have been for the last several months," he said. Both said they were not resigning despite calls from activists that they do so, per the Democrat & Chronicle. Demonstrations in the New York municipality were raucous Saturday night as police deployed tear gas and pepper balls, and protesters hurled rocks, bottles, and fireworks, WHEC reports. Several protesters appeared to be hurt in the melee. (See what change Rochester activists were seeking.)

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