Albany cops use pepper spray after protest leads to broken police station door

WNYT Staff
Updated: April 15, 2021 09:26 AM
Created: April 14, 2021 08:10 PM

ALBANY – Albany Police Spokesperson Steve Smith says police deployed pepper spray on protesters in Albany Wednesday evening. It happened after a glass door at the Albany Police South Station was broken.

The protest was over the shooting death of Daunte Wright in Minnesota. It began peacefully at Townsend Park Wednesday afternoon.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins says early Wednesday afternoon police escorted protesters as they were marching through the city. He says the majority of the protesters were peaceful. He says there was a small group among the peaceful crowd that caused disruption.

Some people in the crowd hurled water bottles at the officers. Somebody even broke a window at the police station.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Albany police discuss protest over Minnesota shooting

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins says he encourages protesting, but it has to be peaceful.

"It is unacceptable for individuals to damage property, it is unacceptable for individuals to hurt people," said Hawkins.

Police estimate around 50 to 60 people were at the protest. However, it’s unclear how many of them were pepper sprayed.

People were asked to avoid the area Wednesday evening, because a lot of roads will be blocked off.

Police say no one was hurt.

"This is a police department. We have buildings full of men and women who are here to protect and serve. We have 9-1-1 calls that continue to happen even during these protests, so if a woman is subjected to domestic violence and calls 9-1-1 we need to police officers to be able to deploy to that emergency," said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

Copyright 2021 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company