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Albany Police Chief Defends Absence After Saturday Protests Turn Violent

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan looks on as Police Chief Eric Hawkins addresses a crowd during the swearing-in of 19 police recruits at City Hall.
APD Steve Smith /Facebook
Albany Commissioner of Planning and Development Chris Spencer, Chief Eric Hawkins, 3rd Ward Councilor Joyce Love

Acknowledging he was not on the scene, Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins is applauding his department’s response to Saturday’s violent protests.

Police Chief Eric Hawkins joined Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan for a press conference Sunday morning, hours after dozens of storefront windows were smashed and protesters in the city’s South End clashed with police. Both praised officers’ performance Saturday as protesters hurled rocks and bricks at them.

Protesters called on Hawkins to speak with them directly Saturday, but his first public appearance was not until the following morning.

“I had other business…I was communicating all day with my command staff and giving direction of this whole event the entire time that I was there….I was not at the scene, sir. I was not at the scene…No, it’s not a problem.”

Mayor Sheehan extended a citywide curfew for a second night Sunday.

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