Adam Green, 20, of Dansville, allegedly hit a Rochester police officer in the head with a wooden shield
ROCHESTER — After several days of tense demonstrations in Rochester, and two days without any arrests, Tuesday's protest ended with one arrest and one officer injured.
The demonstrations began last Wednesday after the Democrat and Chronicle reported the story of Daniel Prude, who died after being restrained by Rochester Police Department officers in March.
On Tuesday afternoon, Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary and the rest of his command staff stepped down — with four retiring and three resigning their command positions and returning to previously held ranks within the department.
Federal charges brought against two accused of attacks on Rochester police
Two men now face federal charges that they attacked police during the Sept. 5 protests.
Charged federally Wednesday were:
• Adam Green, 20, of Dansville, who allegedly hit a Rochester police officer in the head with a wooden shield Green was carrying. He then allegedly fought officers who tried to arrest him, before he was subdued. Green, who police said was wearing a helmet, was eventually handcuffed and arrested. Police said the officer suffered a cut and abrasion on the bridge of his nose from being struck in the head by the wooden shield.
The alleged incident took place during the evening of Sept. 5, when a group of approximately 1,500 protesters gathered at the intersection of Broad Street and Exchange Boulevard, located a block north of RPD headquarters.
Police said the protesters blocked all lanes of traffic on Broad Street and all lanes of traffic on Exchange Boulevard between Broad Street and Main Street. The group extended from the intersection of Broad Street and Exchange Boulevard to the intersection of State Street and Main Street. Law enforcement officers shut down Exit 14 on Interstate 490 in Rochester for approximately eight hours and the State Street exit on the Inner Loop in the City of Rochester for approximately one hour.
Protesters were asked by an RPD sound truck to leave the area on the sidewalks or be subject to arrest for Disorderly Conduct for impeding traffic. Several members of the group disregarded those messages, remained in the streets, and continued to block the intersection, police said. Green was allegedly part of the group that refused to disperse, leading to the clash with police.
• Dallas Williams-Smothers, 20, of Rochester, was also charged Wednesday. He allegedly threw "mortar-style, commercial grade" fireworks at a line of uniformed police officers. He was later arrested and found to have other "mortar-style" fireworks on him, police say.
The two are accused of interfering with law enforcement during civil disorder. They were released Wednesday on their own recognizance, and ordered to abide by a court-imposed curfew.
At a news conference Wednesday, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. praised the Rochester police officials who either retired or voluntarily resigned their posts Tuesday, saying they were all individuals of decency and integrity.
He encouraged some protesters to think about how the "demonization" of law enforcement will make the profession unappealing for many.
FBI Special Agent Stephen Belongia, who heads the agency's western New York office, portrayed the protests as largely non-violent with "a few agitators who have hijacked" the messages from those peacefully encouraging change. He urged protesters who may be include to throw items or point lasers at police to remember "the very real person on the other side of this violence."