Friday, 23 April 2021

Cops clash with anti-police protesters who have been camped outside their precinct for six days in Albany

 Police officers in Albany, New York, clashed with demonstrators on Thursday as they ejected them from a makeshift street encampment outside a police station.

Up to 20 demonstrators had been camped outside the department's South Station for six days. They said they were there to draw attention to police brutality. 

The protesters had camped out, they said, in the wake of clashes that broke out earlier this month when people gathered to rally against Daunte Wright's killing. 

During those protests, police had been violent, they said; they had gathered for the last six days at the station with a list of demands that called for police to de-escalate situations.

On Thursday the protesters had about 15 minutes to pack up their tents and belongings or be arrested.  

Police officers in Albany, New York, clashed with demonstrators on Thursday as they ejected them from a makeshift street encampment outside a police station

Police officers in Albany, New York, clashed with demonstrators on Thursday as they ejected them from a makeshift street encampment outside a police station

Up to 20 demonstrators had been camped outside the department's South Station for six days to draw attention to police brutality and a recent confrontation with city officers

Up to 20 demonstrators had been camped outside the department's South Station for six days to draw attention to police brutality and a recent confrontation with city officers

Officers are seen arresting a few protesters during a clash on Thursday afternoon

Officers are seen arresting a few protesters during a clash on Thursday afternoon 

Police told the protesters they had 15 minutes to pack up their tents and belongings or be arrested

Police told the protesters they had 15 minutes to pack up their tents and belongings or be arrested

A video posted to Twitter by a reporter for the Times-Union of Albany shows officers and demonstrators scuffling as police moved between the tents. One officer swings a nightstick but does not appear to hit anyone.

Police did not immediately provide information on whether there were injuries. But images show one person lying on the ground as police attempt to render aid. 

According to the Times-Union one person was taken to a local hospital. 

A few protesters were also taken into custody. 

Images showed police appearing to arrest demonstrators by handcuffing them on the ground. 


The officers, some with shields, moved through the encampment Thursday afternoon, shortly after Police Chief Eric Hawkins tweeted that for 'public safety purposes, it is time to end this unlawful occupation'.

'We have heard the grievances of the protesters loud and clear. We have also heard the concerns from members of that neighborhood as well as officers & non-sworn staff who serve from the South Station,' Hawkins tweeted. 

'Protesters may continue to peacefully demonstrate, but they must do so in a space that is safe and lawful,' he added.  

Police did not immediately provide information on whether there were injuries. But images show one person lying on the ground as police attempt to render aid. According to the Times-Union one person was taken to a local hospital.

Police did not immediately provide information on whether there were injuries. But images show one person lying on the ground as police attempt to render aid. According to the Times-Union one person was taken to a local hospital.

A few demonstrators are seen facing off with police officers during a confrontation on Thursday

A few demonstrators are seen facing off with police officers during a confrontation on Thursday 

A few protesters were also taken into custody. Images showed police appearing to arrest demonstrators by handcuffing them on the ground

A few protesters were also taken into custody. Images showed police appearing to arrest demonstrators by handcuffing them on the ground

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan also tweeted that the chief has her full support in removing the encampment. 

'I fully support Chief Hawkins’ decision to end the unlawful encampment while providing space for peaceful protests that keeps our residents, workforce, and protestors safe,' she wrote. 

As tensions escalated, about 30 more demonstrators arrived to the scene and used their cars to block traffic at an intersection near the area. 

In another part of the city, a second protest group demonstrated outside of city court on Morton Avenue. 

According to the Times-Union, the encampment was formed on Saturday just days after police and protesters clashed during an April 14 confrontation at the station. 

The confrontation with protesters resulted in officers using pepper spray on the crowd and pushing protesters. A window was also broken at the police station. 

Demonstrators said that police instigated the violence while police blamed the protesters for being aggressive.  

'There is no excuse for police violence against protestors anywhere in New York state,' the New York Civil Liberties Union's Caroline Nagy said in a prepared statement. 

'Protests calling for an end to police brutality against Black New Yorkers should never result in more police brutality.' 

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