2 face federal charges in connection with Rochester protests
One is accused of striking a police officer; the other is accused of throwing a firework at officers
ROCHESTER — Two men are facing federal charges of civil disorder in connection to protests over the weekend in Rochester.
Adam Green, 20, of Dansville, and Dallas Williams-Smothers, 20, of Rochester each face five years in prison if convicted.
It is alleged that after the Rochester Police Department declared an unlawful assembly on Sept. 5, an officer approached Green, and Green swung a wooden shield that he was carrying, striking the officer in the forehead portion of his helmet.
Federal prosecutors say Green was told he was under arrest but resisted and fought with the officer and another officer who was assisting before he was eventually arrested.
The officer’s nose suffered from a cut and an abrasion according to a press release from the Western District of New York (WDNY.)
Prosecutors say at 11:20 p.m. an RPD officer saw Williams-Smothers ignite a mortar-style, commercial-grade firework and throw it at a line of uniformed RPD officers at the intersection of State Street and Main Street.
The firework detonated near the officers, causing an explosion and creating a risk of injury to the officers, according to the WDNY.
Williams-Smothers allegedly ran from the scene before he was taken into custody on Commercial Street.
Prosecutors say he had two mortar-style, commercial-grade fireworks on him when he was arrested.
In other developments in the wake of the recent revelations about the death of Daniel Prude in March after having been restrained by Rochester officers:
• The president of the Rochester Police Locust Club is calling on Mayor Lovely Warren to resign.
During a press conference Wednesday, News 10NBC asked Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo if he was calling on the mayor to resign. He said "yes."
The statement comes after Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary announced his retirement from the Rochester Police Department Tuesday amid calls from protesters for him and Warren to resign. Several other members of RPD command either announced their retirement or stepped down to a lower rank Tuesday as well.
Singletary's last day as chief will be Sept. 29.
Like the city administration and the community, the union and the rank-and-file RPD officers were blindsided by the chief and command staff retirement announcements.
They implied that the chief was being undermined by the mayor when it came to how he should run the department and more specifically, how they should handle the protests and that, the president of the union says, could put officer safety in jeopardy.
Warren sent a statement in response to Mazzeo's call for her resignation, which reads: “For 30 years, the problem with policing in Rochester are cops like Mike Mazzeo that watch the video of Daniel Prude’s death and see nothing wrong.
"Who believe there is nothing wrong with driving Mr. Prude’s head into the street. Who believe there is nothing wrong with other officers standing by, joking and failing to intervene while Mr. Prude is dying. Who think its fine to just casually ignore him as he takes his last breath, and then callously and falsely inform his brother who begged for him not to be harmed.
"Mike Mazzeo and his ilk exist only to protect and serve themselves, and certainly not the people of the City of Rochester.
"It is time for Mike Mazzeo to resign, because his archaic ways of policing are no longer wanted in the City of Rochester."
Mazzeo said the command staff made difficult decisions, but he respects the decision they made.
Mazzeo also said they've received calls, emails and other messages from police union members expressing concern that they can not do their jobs effectively, and concern for their own safety.