Each year, residents of Rochester, New York, celebrate Puerto Rican culture by throwing a massive parade. On July 29, crowds gathered around the city to celebrate the 49th Puerto Rican Festival Parade which typically draws in around 7,000 spectators.
The events were scheduled to take place from about 12 P.M. to 11 P.M., and the Rochester Police Department was standing by ready to handle the massive crowds in the event things got out of control. In the past, police have not been as prepared for the increase in crime, disorderly conduct and intoxicated individuals during the aftermath of these massive celebrations. At around 7:30 P.M., Rochester Police Officers were visibly gathering around the roadways in full riot gear.
Eventually, cops began attempting to wrap up the celebrations by asking everyone in the roadway to disperse. The department utilized helicopter air support and city firefighters to help locate individuals blocking traffic or committing other offenses. Throughout the night, party goers became more aggressive and reportedly threw both rocks and bottles at the officers who were attempting to keep the area safe.
Authorities worked together to break up the masses, send crowds back to their homes and put out fires being lit in various garbage cans. A shooting was reported near Clifford Avenue, and the victim was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Over the course of the night, over 20 individuals were arrested on various charges. Charges included offenses like driving while intoxicated, assault, endangering the welfare of a child, possession of marijuana and other traffic-related crimes. Everyone is expected to return to court on Monday to face their charges.