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With Cities On Edge, Protesters Face Off With Albany Police

On a day when protesters took to the streets in cities across the country, Albany Police — joined by New York State Troopers and Albany County sheriff’s deputies — used riot gear, dogs, gas and officers on horseback to try to disperse an angry crowd that swelled to hundreds outside the department’s South Station Saturday evening.

Protesters hurled rocks, bricks, bottles of water and bags of trash, and set off fireworks during the rally, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police custody on Monday.

One man burned an American flag steps in front of a squad car whose windows were broken by thrown debris.

Albany Common Councilor Derek Johnson, who represents Ward 2, pleaded with protesters to remain peaceful. Police eventually closed off Arch Street, where the substation is located, and South Pearl Street. A helicopter could be heard after sunset as protesters headed up South Pearl Street.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan established an overnight curfew just after 11 p.m. Saturday through 7 a.m. Sunday.

This is a developing story.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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