Police Take The Knee In Schenectady

There was a march today (May 31, 2020) in Saratoga Springs in response to the death of George Floyd, the latest victim of police violence in our country. The march began at the Spirit of Life statue in Congress Park. Lt. JasonMitchell expressed his regrets over the death of George Floyd to the assembled demonstrators. From there, led by Mayor Meg Kelly, Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton, and Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, the group marched to city hall. Mayor Kelly addressed the crowd calling for justice, kindness, and community. The group returned to the park where they dispersed.

Here is a link to the rally: https://cbs6albany.com/news/local/saratoga-springs-sees-peaceful-protest

In Schenectady, in a deeply moving statement of solidarity, the Schenectady police took the knee with local demonstrators.

https://www.news10.com/video/schenectady-protest/5552944/

8 thoughts on “Police Take The Knee In Schenectady”

  1. Although a sweet jesture, it will take more than a knee and lip-service to make any difference. The whole police-system in this country needs to be over-hauled, starting with the extreme protections given the police through contract negotiations. Police simply have too much power. They need to once again be servants of the people, not overlords, as they currently are. They need to be de-militarized. They need smaller budgets to prevent them from buying all the latest electronic gadgets and weaponry. They need to engage the people on the streets, not ride-by with windows closed tightly shut. They need to be part of the community. Their first names should be known in the community, and they should know the first names of the people they should be serving. If all they are thinking about is their paycheck, overtime, benefits, and pension, then they are no use to society.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with much of what you said, but I just wanted to add that some departments don’t even need to buy the military equipment they all seem outfitted with, as there is a federal program called the 1033 Program through which the Defense Department sends military equipment and weapons to local police departments. The departments only have to pay shipping and storage. President Obama smartly limited what could be part of the program, like banning grenade launchers and large-caliber weapons and ammunition. Unfortunately Trump undid much of this, as he did with things like the clean water protection, for no real practical or policy reason other than it was something Obama did.

      To your point about local engagement, studies have also shown that is some cities most officers often don’t live where they serve. This furthers the disconnect between police and public, and leads to an “us” versus “them” mentality. As is the case with politicians and other municipal functions, officers should be required to live in the City they work in.

      https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/most-police-dont-live-in-the-cities-they-serve/

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      1. As a former police commissioner I know what you propose is sometimes difficult to effectuate. Finding qualified personnel to fill jobs that educated people are not interested in is difficult, and sometimes a department has to accept applicants that don’t live in the district. It is not ideal, but it is reality. All jusisdictions would prefer local employees, I would hope.

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    2. Thank you. All good points. And this thread has some practical plans:

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  2. Good post!

    What a great photo of our mayor and good commissioners holding BLM signs in protest on Broadway!

    Here is the story in today’s Gazette:
    https://dailygazette.com/article/2020/05/31/peaceful-george-floyd-protest-held-in-saratoga-springs-we-just-want-our-voices-heard

    Mayor Kelly condoned this march but denied our veterans the honor they deserved on Memorial Day.
    Our veterans died protecting the very freedoms the protesters enjoy.

    Dept. of Public Works put up rainbow flags on Broadway but no American flags.
    Is Skip sending a message?

    Flag Day is coming up.
    Let’s send the right message and re-open Saratoga Springs.
    We can do it.

    What do ya think?

    -JC 🙂

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    1. You’re really going to criticize the Mayor for cancelling the parade that draws thousands in the middle of a pandemic? Which was the same thing most municipalities did in the area? https://www.timesunion.com/news/slideshow/Memorial-Day-Many-Capital-Region-parades-202343.php

      I don’t think it’s fair to compare the Memorial Day Parade, which draws thousands into one area and where they stand closely together for hours, to a march that per the article you linked had a “few dozen people” and in the picture they were all wearing masks. Also, what does any of this have to do with opening the city up, a process which is largely being driven by the state anyway?

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  3. John,

    Reference to the note on the cancellation of the Memorial Day Parade vis a’ vis the May 30 demonstration against the killing of an African-American man in Minneapolis. The author equates the parade cancellation with ‘denial’ of a deserved honor to military veterans and contrasts that with the ‘condoning’ of the freedom to protest.

    Of course, Memorial Day was designated and intended to honor the war dead, not all members of the veteran community. Veterans Day is November 11, not the last Monday of May. And while many attend and or participate in a parade as a means of honoring the war dead, there are other and more meaningful ways to do so. The writer use of the possessive ‘our’ is telling. Veterans ,and particularly the war dead, are not possessions to be used to advance a political agenda or, in this case, to criticize an elected official. Such use is antithetical to the concept of ‘deserved honor’, unacceptable, morally offensive.

    And then we are subjected to the tired cliche’ that ‘our veterans died protecting freedoms.’ This is the place where those too shallow or lazy or just plan too stupid to understand how and why human beings die in war, go to avoid reality or to cast themselves as sunshine patriots.

    I never knew, served with or was with a GI at his death whose death was anything but an unforgivable sin.

    Lew Benton

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    1. Hey Lew,

      Glad to see you haven’t changed since our last exchange.
      You haven’t changed a bit.
      Ha-ha-ha.

      Of course, I do not agree.
      But you know that.

      Godspeed and all that,

      JC

      Like

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