The leader of Free The People Roc is suing Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and the city over the emergency order that restricted overnight gatherings.
The emergency order, which was enacted July 15, made it a misdemeanor for groups of five or more to gather in public between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
In the lawsuit, Stanley Martin with Free the People Roc claims Warren’s emergency order violated the first and fourteenth amendments.
Martin’s statement in court paperwork also claims the order was implemented for the purpose of targeting Black and Brown neighborhoods.
30 people were arrested at a protest of the emergency order earlier this month.
"The city is confident that the emergency order to protect our community is legal and will withstand any scrutiny," said city of Rochester Director of Communications Justin Roj. "Importantly, it is baseless that the order targets Black and Brown neighborhoods. Of the 30 people arrested, 28 of those individuals were white according to RPD.”
The National Lawyers Guild in Rochester joined as one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They believe the order was unconstitutional.
"But I think on its face, it's pretty obvious. Who are we targeting with this enforcement? Who do we see targeted as written right now? Who do we expect to see targeted?," said Katie Adamides, chair of the National Lawyers Guild Rochester.
"It's important to notice that on East Ave. and Park Ave., we see the people in crowds congregating, but when it's in communities of color or deep in the city, we see black people being targeted and arrested," said Stanley Martin.
Going forward, another local civil rights activist says change is needed to improve the community.
"Defunding of the Rochester Police Department, so more resources can go into our Black and brown neighborhoods that will actually combat the roots where we talk about inter-communal violence," said local activist Adrian Elim.