Protestors stand outside Webster Police Department
Police mistakenly arrested the husband of a Brighton Town Board member
Protestors stood outside the Webster Police Department Tuesday evening in response to police interrupting a protest on Ridge and Hard roads on Monday.
On Monday, protestors were at the intersection of Ridge and Hard roads advocating for “Black Lives Matter” when police officers arrived on scene. Officers from three agencies - the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, and the Webster Police Department - tried to control the crowd.
According to a WPD press release, two protestors were arrested for disorderly conduct during Monday’s protest. WPD says protestors were interfering with traffic.
In multiple videos posted on social media by people who were involved in the protest, protestors called out officers for not wearing masks. A number of protestors also say that no one was interfering with traffic.
Protestors gathered outside the Webster Police Department the next day to make a statement following Monday’s altercation.
Sources report that the group of about 30 protestors blocked the entrance to the Webster Police Department parking lot.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, who was assisting Webster police during the Tuesday evening protest, a male protestor “tore down” the police barricade and approached a deputy.
The deputy subsequently took the man into custody. According to MCSO, the male also had a warrant for his arrest.
The male was identified as Nicholas Wilt, husband of Brighton Town Board Member Robin Wilt. It was later learned that there was a clerical error made by the Rochester Police Department with the date of the warrant; Wilt was actually not due to appear in court until later this month.
Robin Wilt told the editor of the Webster Herald and Webster Online that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office’s account of what happened isn’t accurate.
“That he ‘tore down a police barricade and approached a police deputy’ is a galling lie,” said Wilt.
According to Wilt, her husband merely drove around some traffic cones exiting the protest, and then moved some cones aside to allow another car through.
“Cones are not a police barricade,” said Wilt, “and the deputy bull-rushed my husband for moving cones. My husband never approached any deputies.”
Protestors then went to the Rochester Public Safety Building to convince officers to release Nicholas Wilt.
“Tonight’s incidents also illustrate how, regardless of privilege, we are not safe from wrongful arrest and detainment in a system that targets dissenters and marginalized communities,” Robin Wilt shared in a Facebook post following the incident. “The RPD, through a clerical error or brazen malfeasance, incorrectly documented a court date and had a Judge wrongfully issue a warrant for Nick’s arrest. The MCSO executed the arrest. When I showed them proof of RPD’s error, MCSO told me that, despite the error, there was no way that Nick could be freed from Monroe County Jail before morning.”
Wilt’s husband was eventually released that same night.
Protests in Webster have been escalating ever since a protest that took place earlier this month outside of Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley’s home. Webster Town Supervisor Tom Flaherty had written a controversial column expressing his opinion about the protest, which sparked a county-wide debate on the subject.
Many Webster residents have been afraid to publicly share their opinions on the issue out of fear of backlash from protestors. Many Webster residents have also spoken out in full support of the protests.
Free the People Roc has been organizing these protests.