George Floyd | WAMC

George Floyd

Medical professionals take oral swabs to test for COVID-19 infections in New Rochelle, New York, March 14, 2020. Drive-thru sample collection sites have been set up as part of New York’s response to COVID-19.
U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Sean Madden

Communities of color have traditionally faced disproportionate challenges, including air and noise pollution, lower incomes, and limited access to healthy food and medical care. Experts say the coronavirus pandemic has magnified all of these challenges.

Illustration by Dave Lucas & L Liu

A new Siena College poll out today tracks New Yorkers’ thoughts on racism during this summer of unrest.

Protesters swarm a June 4 Albany Common Council press conference outside City Hall.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The Albany Common Council is moving ahead with police reform proposals.

Albany NY saw protests and civil unrest in the wake of the George Floyd killing.
WAMC photos by Jackie Orchard

A month after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, a Siena College poll finds New Yorkers are troubled by systemic racism and police behavior. But  they don’t support calls to defund the police.

8:46 Poster
Facebook: Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York

Seven Capital Region theatre troupes will come together Tuesday night in a collective response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden

Municipal leaders have had to adapt quickly to deal with both the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest that followed the death of George Floyd. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas recently spoke with Troy Mayor Patrick Madden.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins at a Facebook Live ACCPAC presentation.

The death of George Floyd and the national outcry it spawned has municipal police departments and elected officials scrambling to institute changes some say are long overdue.


       A virtual roundtable was held Monday evening on policing and race in the largest city in western Massachusetts.  Some invited participants boycotted the discussion. 

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan during a Memorial Day candle-lighting ceremony, held virtually, May 21, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

The Ulster County executive took part in a peaceful protest recently against George Floyd’s death and systemic racism. He was surprised to encounter a military-grade armored vehicle standing at the ready. Democrat Pat Ryan says he had used equipment like this in combat when deployed to Iraq, and he does not want to ever see his community turned into a war zone. Ryan spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about this along with what kind of police reforms he wants to see locally.


     After a week that saw massive marches, protest rallies, and vigils in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts following the death of George Floyd, elected officials are pledging policy changes.

A Family In A Small, Rural Town Protests Racism

Jun 8, 2020
Kate Bixby and her mother, Heather Myers, protesting in Bangall, NY, June 6, 2020
WAMC, Allison Dunne

There have been several large protests in the Hudson Valley since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, including over the weekend. But a few protestors in Dutchess County have started one of their own, in their own backyard and, so far, solely within their family.

Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins speaks to Karen DeWitt in a socially distanced interview June 8, 2020
Gary Ginsberg / NYS Senate

The New York State Legislature met at the state Capitol Monday to unveil police reform legislation. Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign the package. 

Sign held at Plattsburgh's No Justice No Peace walk
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Hundreds of people marched through downtown Plattsburgh Saturday to call for racial equity and justice.  North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was there.

Courtesy of the City of Beacon government

City of Beacon, New York officials will talk about their police department’s training and best practices at a City Council meeting Monday. It follows the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week and resulting protests nationwide, including in Beacon.

A black man holding a mic with a face mask and an NAACP sign stands in a sun-dappled grassy park surrounded by people
Josh Landes / WAMC

The president of the Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP says he doesn’t buy concerns that violent agitators will infiltrate local anti-policy brutality protests.

Two men hold signs that read "Black Lives Matter" and "Let Them Breathe" in front of a statue
Josh Landes / WAMC

Days after a peaceful protest drew hundreds, a few anti-police brutality protesters continue to demonstrate in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts.


   As protests continued last night across the country over the death of George Floyd, hundreds came together for a prayer vigil in the largest city in in western Massachusetts.

George Floyd was murdered, and he deserves justice.

Stephen Gottlieb: The Killing Of George Floyd

Jun 2, 2020

After practicing law, it’s hard to stick to stereotypes about people, whether the police, the looters, whites, presidents or anyone else. Lawyers see the best and the worst, Mother Teresa and Jack the Ripper. The good and bad aren’t predictable.

A protest is planned in Poughkeepsie Tuesday afternoon in the aftermath of the George Floyd death.

A white woman stands in a sun-dappled park with a mic in her hand with people around her
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington was elected in 2018 on a progressive platform of criminal justice reform and community-oriented law enforcement. She took part in demonstrations over the weekend that called for an end to police brutality against African-Americans spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Harrington spoke to WAMC about how she’s preparing her office during a historic period of social unrest, and why she disagrees with the county’s sheriff about decarceration.

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody last week in Minneapolis, the Westchester County executive is forming a working group to review county police academy polices.

City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar listens as Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan addresses the media at city hall.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany officials announced a series of programs today designed to provide funding to individuals and businesses in the city of Albany directly impacted by COVID-19 and Saturday’s riots.


     The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts Monday called for a time of national healing.

A black man with a face mask on, a hat, and an NAACP sign kneels in a sun-dappled grassy park surrounded by other masked people
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County residents and public officials participated in the international weekend of protest against police brutality.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Protesters in Brooklyn clashed with police Friday night, marked by images of a police vehicle set on fire and a video shared thousands of times on social media of a woman being violently shoved to the ground by a New York City police officer. 

Citizen Action of NY

Protestors have taken to the streets in the Midwest after a Minneapolis black man named George Floyd was killed by police in an incident where an officer was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes as he lay on the ground, several times repeating "I can't breathe." In Albany, a march is planned for Saturday.