News and Commentary

Restaurants Side With Protesters After Protesters Chase Customers Out Of Establishment
Police officers run past a bus station that was set on fire as they attempt to clear the streets after a march for Daniel Prude on September 04, 2020 in Rochester, New York.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

On Friday night, restaurant-goers were targeted by left-wing Black Lives Matter protesters who chased customers out of establishments and flipped over patrons’ dinner plates in Rochester, New York, as evidenced by video footage.

The restaurants, however, are siding with the protesters, emphasizing how apparently little monetary damage the demonstrations caused and outright dismissing the terrorizing of their customers.

Protesters and violent rioting erupted in the city during the week over the death of Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old black man who died about a week after an interaction with the Rochester Police Department (RPD).

“Three restaurants that were affected by Friday night’s protests over the death of Daniel Prude released statements on Saturday acknowledging they did have some property damage while voicing support for the peaceful protestors,” News 10 WHEC reported Saturday.

On Instagram, restaurants Swan Dive, Ox and Stone, and Daily Refresher posted “nearly-identical statements,” the news station noted:

“Despite what videos might depict, we lost some glassware last night. You can not deny the anger and hurt our community is feeling right now. As always, the actions of a few agitators are amplified louder and louder as videos are shared and conclusions are drawn. We, now and always, stand with those standing against injustice.

Stay safe. Listen. Love.

Ever better.” 

The statements noted that the restaurants would be closing on Saturday night, one day after the apparently minimal disruption from protesters.


The following night, another Rochester business owner witnessed destruction to his establishment by left-wing rioters. A store which encompasses a U-Haul service and is owned by a black man was torched, leaving at least three of the vehicles destroyed by the alleged arson.

WHEC News 10 journalist Charles Molineaux captured photos of the destruction and the business owner, Jesse Barksdale. According to the photos, it appears Mr. Barksdale placed a “Proud to be Black Owned” sign outside the business, which was clearly ignored by rioters allegedly protesting racial injustice.

“Three U-Haul trucks destroyed at J-Ribs on State Street,” the reported said. “Owner Jesse Barksdale says he was bounced out of bed to respond,” Molineaux reported. “Livid over the destruction of his business.”


An autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to WXXI News, “listed the cause of Prude’s death as ‘complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint due to excited delirium due to acute phencyclidine intoxication,’ an indication that Prude might have been high on PCP.”

“Police reports indicate Prude had apparently “gone on a destructive tear,” “smashing out the windows of several storefronts, and ranting about having the coronavirus” before police came in contact with him, highlighted WXXI News.

The Daily Wire reported Friday on the interaction with Prude and law enforcement from March:

Back in March, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Daniel Prude, a black male, interacted with officers from the Rochester Police Department (RPD) in New York after at least two people called 911 about Prude’s behavior and welfare, included Prude’s own brother, Joe Prude.

Police reports indicate Prude was restrained by officers while waiting for the ambulance the cops summoned — video (below) suggests this was done soon after Prude told officers, “Give me your gun, I need it.”

As noted by Forbes, Prude “had been taken to the local hospital for suicidal thoughts about eight hours before his encounter with police on March 22.”

As cops were physically restraining the man for about two minutes, body camera footage (which can be viewed below) and media reports suggest the 41-year-old threw up and loss consciousness. He was reportedly resuscitated on the way to the hospital but likely suffered severe brain damage and was pulled from life support about a week later by his family.

Notably, Prude has a mesh-like hood placed over his head, dubbed a “spit hood.” The device is used to protect officers from saliva. Prude was repeatedly spitting and reportedly telling people he had COVID. (The interaction with police was in March, at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic.)

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