About 50 in Coxsackie and 11,000 in Troy turn out to protest police violence against African Americans
Jun 08, 2020 6:30 am
There were protests held June 7 in Coxsackie, Troy, Red Hook, Saratoga Springs, Newburgh, Sidney, Niskayuna, Amsterdam locally, and in many cities and towns around the nation. In Coxsackie, about 50 people gathered on the grass in front of the National Bank of Coxsackie at the corner of Rts. 9W and 385. They waved signs and chanted in front of the bank's sign that read, "This must end. No more George Floyds. No more riots." Organizer Tyler Clark posted this recording of the protest on Facebook. PLAY BRIEF AUDIO CLIP HERE. At least one passerby stopped to express his displeasure. PLAY BRIEF AUDIO CLIP HERE. The event in Troy that began around 2 p.m. was easily the largest in the Hudson Valley this week. Troy organizers estimated 11,000 turned out to Riverfront Park, and then later marched in the streets. Protesters handed out free masks to attendees, and police officers gave away some pizza slices. Family members of Dahneek McDonald, a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was shot by a Troy police officer in 2017, were among those attending A video of that incident showed a bloody McDonald asking, "Why'd you all shoot me? Why'd you all shoot me?" McDonald survived, and no charges were filed against the officer. McDonald’s cousin Yarema Dickson spoke at the Troy protest, and the Times Union captured some of what she said. PLAY BRIEF EXCERPT HERE. Troy Police detained and questioned between six and eight people who showed up in fatigues carrying handguns who appeared to want to disrupt the protest. And there was at least one Tweet from an account that just joined Twitter and only had two followers that was spreading misinformation about the protest in Troy. But there were few reports of other problems, and business owners who boarded up their stores, and the nearby towns of Green Island, Menands, and Watervliet that declared curfews, seemed to have overreacted. Press reports indicated most everyone went home by 11 p.m. On June 8 there is another protest planned, this one in Clifton Park. On June 11 there is a "Saugerties Walks for Black Lives" event scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cantine Veterans Memorial Complex. On June 13, protesters are organizing online for President Donald Trump's visit to West Point, where the U.S. Military Academy will hold a graduation ceremony. Time magazine reports that more than 15 members of West Point’s graduating class tested positive for coronavirus after returning to the U.S. Military Academy for the event that was going to be held online.