Kingston hosts large protest as Minneapolis officers face charges
Jun 04, 2020 6:30 am
On June 3 Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded charges against the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck and charged the other three officers at the scene with aiding and abetting murder. Protests, though, continued nationally and in the Hudson Valley. The Daily Freeman reported that more than 1,500 people turned out for "Walk 4 Black Lives" in Kingston, starting at 5 p.m. at Academy Green and marching down Broadway in a show of solidarity against racism and for police accountability. The Hudson Valley Chapter of Citizen Action of New York organized the event, "We're here today of all colors. I love it," Rashida Tyler of The Real Kingston Tenants Union.said during the event. "Remember this moment when anyone tries to be divisive and say, 'Black this, white that, we can't come together.' We can. We will. We're moving forward." Kingston also hosted a smaller protest July 30. Kingston Mayor Steve Noble, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, Ulster County District Attorney David Clegg, and Kingston Police Chief Egidio Tinti were among the politicians in attendance. Almost all protesters wore masks, but few were able to maintain six-feet of space with one another. There are more protests scheduled in the region this week, with one in Catskill meeting at 5 p.m. at the middle school on June 4. The “Troy Rally for Black Lives” will be held at 2 p.m., June 7 at Riverfront Park. This is the first protest in that city since the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, and the Times Union reports that Troy officials are preparing for the worst. "Law enforcement sources said the Troy Police Department’s riot gear was brought out of storage to the station," Kenneth C. Crowe II reports. Several law enforcement officials refused comment. Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin said at his daily coronavirus update that, “We expect, I think that’s a key word, expect it will be a positive experience and it will be peaceful and calm. We’re not going to put up with stuff that happened in other cities and states.” Many storefront windows in downtown Troy were covered with plywood, some painted with colorful murals. In Albany, there have been protests almost every day, and some of the ones that lasted into the night have not turned out well. Most local media are describing a handful of troublemakers as the problem, but there have also been many reports of police aggression. The Times Union recounts one story that changed from protester problem into police at fault. A man recording police arresting someone else on June 2 was arrested himself and charged with inciting a riot. But Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan saw what he recorded, and said it was "troubling." The charges against the couple were dropped June 3 and the matter was referred to the department’s Office of Professional Standards. Kimani Addison said he was punched by an officer and shocked with a Taser. Asked why he left his car in a convenience store parking lot across the street to record the arrest he said, “I didn’t want them to violate that man’s rights in front of me.... I felt that as a black man, I should stand up.” He said he complied with a police requests to back away, but he refused to move past his own vehicle. “The video footage does not appear to depict efforts by police to de-escalate a situation, nor it does it depict the sensitivity I expect from all city employees in this moment and every day,” Sheehan said. Addison said that at one point an officer kneeled on his head or neck for several seconds, and that he and Desiree Shuman were both taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital for treatment and released. “I hope they had body cameras on because I want people to hear what was said," Addison said.