Saratoga Springs City Council meeting ends early after protest

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The Saratoga Springs City Council meeting ended early Tuesday night after a protest lasted about 20 minutes inside the City Hall.

The protestors were calling for charges to be dropped against Black Lives Matter members who are accused of disrupting a meeting earlier this year.

The meeting Tuesday night was to discuss a resolution apologizing for the city’s history of racism. It also proposes a restorative justice panel to begin a community wide dialogue.

Attendees spoke at the meeting, which became heated at times.

“A whole year that went by, a state of the city that went on, and nothing was mentioned about anti-racism, nothing was mentioned about restorative justice, until Chandler (Hickenbottom) took the stand after Tyre Nichols’ death. She wanted to be listened to,” one speaker said. “And it’s not a tactic. It’s anger. It’s sorrow. We are targeted of being targeted in America. They are tired of being targeted in Saratoga Springs.”

Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim says the restorative justice program is a broader view of something the city, and the entire country, should grapple with.

However, the Police Benevolent Association out of Saratoga Springs took issue with the idea of this resolution.

“The members of the Saratoga Springs PBA dispute and deny any false idea that its members are racist or allow any laws to be applied in a racist way or based in hate,” the PBA said in a statement.

The resolution passed with just Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino opposing.