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.