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Police: Videos shed new light on Saratoga rally

Jacquie Slater
Updated: August 04, 2020 08:29 PM
Created: August 04, 2020 05:19 PM

New video released Tuesday by the Saratoga Springs Police Department shows last week's protest and unrest from a different vantage point.

We've seen the video taken by protestors as Black Lives Matter protestors clashed with a Back the Blue' rally on July 29.

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Protestors have questioned the city's actions. Many say the show of force was unjustified.

Police say the new videos they have tells a different story. They say the seven different video clips show rising tensions.

Police say one video shows the Black Lives Matter organizer shouting profanities and using derogatory words – at one point calling someone the N word.

A second clip, police say, shows a group attacking a well-known pastor who was there as part of Back the Blue.

Other footage shows the Black Lives Matter group blocking Broadway. At one point there is a scuffle. Then law enforcement fires pepper balls. You can hear an officer shouting instructions.

Authorities on Tuesday detailed the events leading up to the large police presence, which included the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department, State Police and State Parks Police.

Officials say they granted Back the Blue permission for an initial march from City Hall down Broadway, which they've done for other protests as well. They assigned four patrol officers, two mounted officers and a supervisor to assist. This would be standard operating procedure.

That changed when police learned through social media of a possible threat to the peaceful rally.

In a statement officials said, "One of the social media posts asked counter-protestors to be in Congress Park by 5:30 p.m. and stated, ‘it's time to really show them we mean business.’"

The statement went on to say, "It was always the intention of the police department command staff to make sure that, regardless of what groups came to rally or protest, they would have an opportunity to express their opinions in a peaceful way."

The police also said intelligence showed at least one protestor might have had a gun. They say video shows some protestors wearing bulletproof vests and carrying pepper spray.

You can see the videos here. 

Click here to read the full statement from the Saratoga Police Department


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