Protesters arrested after refusing to leave Erie County’s Rath Building

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A string of protesters stood outside the Rath building on Friday, but a group also ventured inside, leading to their arrest.

The protesters held signs commenting on the death of a woman who was locked up in the Erie County Holding Center. They came to the head of Erie County’s government to demand change after 27-year-old India Cummings died in custody. The offices were closed, however, and officials asked the protesters to leave. When they didn’t, officers took them briefly into custody.

Cummings was arrested for a Lackawanna car jacking, but the family’s lawyer Matthew Albert says authorities failed to properly care for her.

Albert announced he’s going to represent those who were arrested on Friday for free.

“They’re getting all bent out of shape and locking people up for exercising their right to assemble, their right to free speech, we’re just going to speak that much louder,” Albert said. “They’re in ivory towers way up there and somehow are above what’s going on down here, it doesn’t cut it anymore.”

An spokesperson for the Erie County Executive’s Office said the protesters faced arrest for declining to leave the 16th floor when asked. They were each released soon after on appearance tickets. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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