Organizers of a Black Lives Matter protest planned for this Sunday are meeting and moving forward with their plans to shut down Interstate 490.
Now, a local legislator is calling on the county for reassurance and answers.
“What I do want to know is that if people are going to protest, and are going to shut down 490, that they’re safe and the people that are driving in our community are safe and that our law enforcement are safe," said Monroe County Legislator and chair of the Public Safety Committee, Karla Boyce.
She is talking about an event called Shut it Down, a protest organized by a group called SAVE ROCHESTER-Black Lives Matter.
Its organizers say the group will meet at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park on Sunday at 2 p.m. Its Facebook page and website state that they will be taking an undisclosed route to the highway to shut it down in the safest way possible.
Some legislators sent a letter to the county executive and sheriff seeking reassurance of a safety plan.
"I want to assure our law enforcement that I’m not questioning their professionalism or the way they’re doing their job, I just want to be assured as a legislator…that there is a plan in place. Do I want to know about the plan, the details? No, I don’t, but I think it’s really important for our community to be able to have a sense of safety that nothing’s going to happen," said Boyce.
"Of course the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with and continues to work with its law enforcement partners," said Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter. "MCSO will lend its support to the Rochester Police Department and the New York State Police, as the demonstration is anticipated to move from downtown Rochester to Interstate 490. RPD has primary enforcement responsibility in the city of Rochester."
The Rochester Police Department says it's closely monitoring the protest for Sunday.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren addressed the planned protest at a news conference on Wednesday.
“We want the organizers of that event to make sure that they understand that it is their obligation to make sure that people that are coming to this event are safe," said Warren. "And we will help and assist in keeping people that are protesting safe in our community. Some of the things that I have seen about running them over, about killing them, about bringing guns and all that other type of stuff, that’s not who our people — that’s not who we are.”
The mayor says she does not want to discourage people from exercising their constitutional right to protest. But she and other leaders, including the sheriff, want those gatherings to be done in a safe manner.
“Safety for our community, safety for the protesters, and safety for our law enforcement is the most important thing to us," said Warren.
An organizer of Sunday’s protest tells Spectrum News that this will be a carefully organized and event.
It is unknown if the New York State Police will have extra troopers patrolling the city this weekend.