"They (church) elders will stand as the buffer between the protesters and our police department," Mayor Warren said.
Rochester, a city of 200,000 people in the northwest corner of the state, erupted with protests this week after the Prude family released body camera footage from the arrest of Daniel Prude in March.
The footage showed 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.
The video footage also shows officers forcing Prude's face down on the ground. Prude can be heard shouting, "Take this ... off my face!" and "You're trying to kill me!" in response to the hood. Officers are heard saying "Calm down" and "stop spitting."He died a week later at the hospital.
LOVELY WARREN: I am glad that the attorney general informed us yesterday that she will impanel a grand jury to complete the investigation of Mr. Prude's death, and I have to also address the response to the protests by our police department. I have spoken with Chief Singletary, and we have discussed at length how our police department has responded to the protesters. The deployment of pepper balls, tear gas, the fireworks, and agitators have escalated these situations. That is the reason why I'm asking you, the citizens of Rochester, to help us.
I am proud to stand here with Reverend Myra Brown, pastor of Spiritus Christi Church. Today, she and I met and have worked together to come up with a plan that will allow our protesters to exercise their First Amendment right to assemble free from distress while our officers protect the Public Safety Building. RTS has agreed to bus in our elders. They will stand as the buffer between our protesters and our police department. I appreciate her and others for their willingness to step up and help us through these trying times.