Civil rights leaders in Albany are calling for changes following the forced removal of protestors outside a city police station last week.
Center for Law and Justice Executive Director Dr. Alice Green calls the decision to remove demonstrators who had camped out for six days a mistake, and says it’s troubling that officers covered their badge numbers and beat seated protestors with batons after they were given 15 minutes to clear out.
“The brutal removal of the protestors was roundly criticized by many city officials and community leaders,” Green said. “Yet, the mayor and others persist in defending the mayor’s removal and her refusal to meet with demonstrators.”
Green says Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, a Democrat seeking a third term, is not listening to the city’s Black people, and called on the Common Council to fill the “leadership void” and dismantle the policing system.
A spokesman for the mayor says the protestors were responsible for “defacing of public property, and public urination, defecation, and intoxication,” and after they broke a window at the station “it was clear there was not going to be a productive conversation.”
City Hall says Sheehan has ordered Police Chief Eric Hawkins to investigate which officers covered their badges.