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Catskill held secret vote on 'Black Lives Matter' mural, now will debate 'All Lives Matter' mural

Jul 09, 2020 6:33 am
Catskill Village President Vincent Seeley said at the July 8 village meeting that the vote by the Catskill Village Trustees last week to not allow a "Black Lives Matter" mural on Main Street was unanimous, and did not take place in a public meeting. The public did not get to witness the vote, as Seeley said it happened through email. Others brought up the matter again at the meeting, questioning the town's explanation that some things national "Black Lives Matter" movement officials have said have been, "causing more of a divide than ever before. Some of the statements of this organization are not in line to how our community feels as a whole," according to the statement the village released June 30 announcing the vote, Then Joseph Izzo, a member of the Catskill Town Planning Board, asked to be put on the agenda of the July 22 village meeting with a request to paint "All Lives Matter" on Main Street in Catskill. Meanwhile, in Clifton Park an image of a noose was drawn at a skateboard park. And in Schenectady more video was released showing a Schenectady Patrolman Brian Pommer punching Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud six times, in addition to the previous footage showing Pommer kneeling on the suspect's neck. Pommer, who has been on the force seven years, is "assigned to desk duty during the review process" of the arrest of Gaindarpersaud, according to police. Rep. Paul Tonko, who represents Albany County as well as Schenectady and other areas, denounced the officer. "I am enraged and heartbroken to see this violence from a Schenectady police officer," Tonko wrote on Twitter. "I have been told that police departments across our region do not teach or use these tactics, so HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?" Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford was not happy with that comment. "To say I am disappointed that our local congressman rushed to judgment without waiting for the facts or even calling me or our mayor to discuss is an understatement," the chief wrote in a Twitter response. "Our leaders need to be better than this." And in Albany there was an attempt at betterment, as the Times Union reported that the city’s police department will create a paid cadet program to bring more women and minorities to the force. The City of Albany will hire four part-time intern cadets from the city, and between the ages of 18 and 32, making $15 an hour for 12 hours a week. "What we'd like is for the department to mirror the population," Albany Common Council President Corey Ellis said. "I'm glad the chief stepped up and did this." This weekend there are protests planned in Cairo, Kinderhook, Gloversville, Monticello, and North Adams in Massachusetts.
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