Four arrested during protest at Erie County Sheriff's Office

Posted at 11:59 AM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 11:59:42-04

Four people were arrested during a protest at the office of Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard.

According to the Erie County Sheriff's Department, about 15 protesters were buzzed into the administrative offices. They were allowed to speak about the issues, but then started chanting.

The chanting was captured in the cell phone video above.

At that point, Sheriff's deputies say the protesters were asked to leave. Four protesters linked arms and refused. They were arrested and charged with trespassing.

The protest was organized by the group Showing Up for Racial Justice. In a press release, they say they were motivated "by what they see Howard's lack of accountability for the deaths and poor conditions at the Erie County Holding Center and the Alden Correctional Facility."

They also say they were upset by Howard's appearance at a rally where there were confederate flags and "known white supremacists in the audience." That led to a rally in April calling for Howard's resignation.

Of his appearance, Howard said in a statement, " I do not support any group that uses violent and discriminatory rhetoric, but how can I limit their god given rights to public assembly and free expression."