Black Lives Matter rally condemns police-involved killings

July 09, 2016 12:17 AM

ALBANY - "It's not about a black talking to young men anymore,” said spokesperson for the upstate branch of Black Lives Matter, Rosa Clemente.

She was one of hundreds of protesters gathered in Albany's Dana Park Friday evening.

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“All share the same universal responsibility,” said protester, Jaquana Peterkin.

The Black Lives Matter rally was a response to the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA and Philando Castile in St. Paul, MN.

Organizer Rosa Clemente says their deaths are part of a larger pattern.

“Every 28 hours an African American man woman or child is killed by law enforcement,” she said.

The rally drew people from various walks of life.

“I think that African American people have sounded the drumbeat for justice for a long time and that white people tend to see it as a black problem, said protester Kathy Donley.”

The demonstration came a day after lone gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson, carried out a shooting attack on police officers in Dallas, TX following a Black Lives Matter protest there.

The army veteran killed five officers and injured nine people, including seven other police officers. 

The tragedy added more fuel to this already heated debate.

“I'm not a supporter of violence in any way but there's only so much that people can take,” said Black Lives Matter member Ariela Perez-Wallach.

Perez-Wallach said demonstrators want more accountability.


“That means that I can walk the street when I want to,” Perez-Wallach said. “That means that I can drive a car and not be afraid that if I get pulled over I could die,” she said.

“Those two particular incidences happened in less than 24 hours a part,” Clemente said. “We're beyond a tipping point in police violence in our community,” she said.


Nia Hamm

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