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Black Lives Matter protesters took over the City Hall in Rochester, New York, and said they have no plans to leave until the officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude are fired and arrested.

Protesters flooded the building on Tuesday morning and blocked access into City Hall. The protesters did not appear to break into any offices and instead played classical music throughout the building, according to a report from the Democrat and Chronicle.

Protesters presented a list of demands that included the officers' arrests and resignations from several city leaders.

“What we are doing right now is an occupation at City Hall," one protester said shortly after entering the building.

Prude, a 41-year-old black man, died while in police custody in March. Officers arrested Prude after he was spotted running naked down the street. After they apprehended him, they placed a hood over his head to stop him from spitting on officers. They also held him down for several minutes until he became unconscious. Prude died in the hospital after spending several days on life support. His death received little attention until his family released body camera footage from the arrest in late August, which prompted protests and riots.

The protests started one day after Mayor Lovely Warren announced that she was suspending her legal adviser and her communications director for their response to Prude's death. She also announced that she would be firing Police Chief Le'Ron Singletary, who had already resigned but was staying on with the department until the end of the month.

The protesters plastered "wanted" signs featuring Warren, District Attorney Sandra Doorley, and Rochester police union President Michael Mazzeo and demanded their resignations. Most of the senior members of the Police Department have already resigned.

The protesters also removed the U.S. flag from in front of City Hall and replaced it with a Black Lives Matter flag. The Rochester Police Department notified the public on Twitter that it had possession of the U.S. flag.

We have received several inquiries from community members and media regarding the flags that were taken down from City Hall today. The flags are in our possession and are being properly cared for.

— Rochester NY Police (@RochesterNYPD) September 15, 2020

The department also began work to remove the protesters from City Hall on Wednesday morning. Police officers notified protesters that they had been ordered to leave the area and that they would be arrested if they did not leave.

"MOVE BACK" Watch as police clear protesters from Rochester City Hall nearly 24 hours after they began to occupy sidewalks and surrounding streets.

Protesters are demanding Rochester's mayor resign & officers involved in #DanielPrude's death be arrested.

— Kris Betts (@KrisB_13WHAM) September 16, 2020


— scott barstow (@barstow_scott) September 16, 2020

News New York Protests Black Lives Matter

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Demand for In-Person Learning Plans Draws Ire of Teachers

BOSTON (AP) — A major Massachusetts teachers union is accusing the state's top education official of pressuring more than a dozen school districts for asking them to come up with plans for in-person learning.

“In light of the stark discrepancy between local public health data and your reopening plan, I am requesting a timeline by which you anticipate providing in-person instruction for the majority of your students,” Jeffrey Riley, commissioner of the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, wrote in a letter to 16 districts currently teaching only remotely, according to the Boston Herald.

All the districts are at low risk of community transmission of the coronavirus, according to state data.

The president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association called Riley's directive a threat.

“Having failed to provide adequate guidance or state support to make it possible for our public schools to open safely, State Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and Governor Charlie Baker have the gall to threaten 16 communities that have wisely chosen not to pursue in-person learning at this time,” Merrie Najimy said in a statement.

The districts are Amesbury, Bourne, Boxford, East Longmeadow, Gardner, Pittsfield, Provincetown, West Springfield, Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public, Hoosac Valley, Gill-Montague, Mohawk Trail, Mohawk Trail/Hawlemont, Manchester Essex, Belmont and Watertown.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: Massachusetts, Rhode Island

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