Clash between Albany police, protesters came after days of buildup | WNYT.com

Clash between Albany police, protesters came after days of buildup

Jerry Gretzinger
Updated: April 23, 2021 06:23 PM
Created: April 23, 2021 05:43 PM

Tensions had been escalating since last Wednesday, until the police chief declared that it was "time to end this unlawful occupation." Many people are asking how it got so out of hand.

This all started on Wednesday of last week. A march after a peaceful protest in the name of Daunte Wright ended up at the South End Police Station on Arch Street.

Protestors threw things at police officers, and a window was smashed.

In turn, officers pepper sprayed some people in the crowd.

Later in the week, Albany’s mayor and police chief held a press conference.

They denied claims that officers had instigated the violence.

They showed security video of protestors climbing onto the entrance ramp at the station, blocking the door.

Protestors fought back, saying they were attacked needlessly, and some officers removed nametags and body cameras during the incident.

Another peaceful protest on Saturday turned into an inner-city encampment.

Activists said they were willing to protest outside South Station until their demands are met.

Those demands included the public release of police personnel records, face-to-face meetings with the mayor and police chief, and targeted trimming down of the city police force.

This encampment went on peacefully for several days.

Officers closed down Arch Street, and set up barriers to keep protestors off the sidewalks.

The police chief said in an effort to support the freedom of expression and to de-escalate a tense situation, the department did not interfere.

However, Thursday afternoon, the chief said for public safety purposes, the unlawful occupation had to end.

He said protestors could peacefully demonstrate, but must do so in a safe and lawful space.

Activists were given a 15-minute warning. While some complied, those who didn't were arrested.


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