The Public Safety Department issued a press release and supporting videos which are available on the city website [JK: There is an additional video not in the press release that that the “supporting videos” link goes to]. The release and videos are meant to supplement the original July 31 release regarding the events of July 30 involving All of Us and Back the Blue.
The release clarifies a number of outstanding issues:
- Back the Blue had submitted the required documents for a rally and for a march down Broadway. I interpret this as a response to criticism by All of Us that the Back the Blue was allowed access to the streets whereas they were not.
- Prior to the Back the Blue rally the police were monitoring social media and found that All of Us planned to counter demonstrate. The release refers to a post in which the group asserted “It’s time to show them we really mean business. ” The release makes apparent that the department viewed potential clash between All of Us and Back The Blue as grave. They cite this concern as the reason they sought assistance from the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, the New York State Police, and the State Park Police.
- By 6:30 the opposing groups were in Congress Park. “From 6:30 to 7:45 tensions were high, words were exchanged, but the groups were separated by a wall of police officers and two SSPD horses.”
- The sheriff’s department vehicle that was referenced by some as a “tank” is a “…light tactical vehicle used as a personnel and equipment carrier for the tactical team.” The vehicle has been positioned at events including “…large protests, large special events, and all emergency management details such as the Whitney and the Travers (Saratoga Race Course Races). The release notes that the city police rely on outside available resources to supplement them to deal with large events.
- Three persons were arrested. The release does not indicate what they were charged with.
a. 16 year old female from Saratoga Springs was arrested at 8:48. “…Issued an appearance ticket, and released to her grandfather at 9:43 PM when he arrived at the police station.”
b. 17 year old male from Saratoga Springs was arrested at 8:48. “…refused to cooperate with police. Once his age and identity were determined he was transported to his parents at 11:59 and issued an appearance ticket.”
c. 19 year old Male, Andre Simmons from Schenectady. “…arrested 8:49 and released 9:24 on an appearance ticket.”
7. The release asserts that intelligence collected by “outside agencies” reported that “one of the protesters associated with ‘BLM’ and ‘All of Us’ was armed with a handgun and agitators from out of the area were going to be involved.” They note that some of the “protesters were wearing bullet proof vests and duty belts containing pepper spray.”
8. The release contains a run on sentence which appears to address the ordinance carried for the purpose of crowd control. “The use of OC Spray [pepper spray in an aerosol bottle] and pepper projectiles is on the lower end of the Use of Force Continuum and may be used to bring an individual or group of individuals under control when they are about to or are engaging in violent behavior.”
9. “The chief of Police authorized the use of pepper projectiles once the situation started turning violent as shown in video 7.” (Labeled “Protest Arrest”).
10. “Zero injuries were reported from the events detailed above.”
I will be posting an analysis of the release and videos in another blog shortly.
6 thoughts on “Saratoga Springs Police Department Issues Press Release And Videos”
Wasn’t there. But it seems from the videos that I have watched, it escalates when the boys in blue show up to “protect everyone.”
Does it matter whether it is Back the Blue who gets the PD attention, or BLM? Yeah, it does. Three police agencies got involved, but was that really necessary? Did anyone actually prove that a BLM protester had a weapon? That remains to be proven. Until then……
“It escalates when the boys in blue show up….” Really? You have a very passionate but inexperienced group of very young people who are essentially leaderless acting deliberately to provoke not only the police but potentially more dangerously the Back the Police group. They had no idea who they might be dealing with in the BTP group or how volatile some in that group might become when provoked. Fortunately those “boys (and ‘girls’ btw) in blue” showed up and kept the groups separated. This “quaint” protest lacked focus and purpose. What exactly was their goal? What was the purpose of lying down on Broadway in the dark? While their enthusiasm and commitment to social justice is very appealing especially to those in the generation that took part in demonstrations in the 60’s, it is important not to romanticize their actions. Their lack of organization may make their “little civil protest” charming to some, but it was dangerous and a waste of city resources. Their demands make no sense, and they have yet to think through what issues may actually exist that need to be addressed let alone how to do that. Ironically while they may want to “defund the police” their protests are having the opposite effect of sending even more scarce public funds to the police to pay for the overtime necessary to protect them from the consequences of their poorly thought out provocative actions. This is not how change occurs.
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Were you there last Thursday night?
Was there a weapon? No answer from PD yet about that, or has there been?
And did things escalate before or after the boys and girls in blue showed up?
If your were not there then please enlighten all of us.
P.S. The video by the PD was obviously edited. Would it have been made available if it indicated any PD “mistakes.”
If I were black, I would lay down in the road and I would protest every day of the week. It is so sad to see how they have been treated for so long.
After watching the videos it can be concluded that Alexis Figuereo is not an eloquent leader of this rather quaint protest, and in it’s entirety it didn’t prove to be an outrageous act of civil disobedience. Perhaps it was at most annoying to some people with opposing opinions. Throughout, the protesters were outnumbered by uniformed officers from various policing bodies that acted responsibly until they accelerated their pressure, first by using siren decibels to overwhelm the protestors vocal chants, and then after the female sergant directed her troops to start arresting people. Chemical weapons were needlessly deployed on the protesters and the police appeared to provoke confrontation. The reaction to this little civil protest was far beyond what was necessary to monitor all participants and keep both them and the rest of the public safe.
I must disagree on your comment “it didn’t prove to be an outrageous act of civil disobedience”. No it was not violent in terms of looting or rioting yet laying down, dancing and bouncing around in traffic (or blocking traffic) for close to an hour or more does become outrageous, if only in terms of their own safety. I’ve watched this in the past where some drivers became angry and somewhat threatening. Had the “boys (and ladies) in blue not been there to redirect traffic and keep some in this “quaint” group from getting seriously injured or even killed had a car tried to go on through and you can bet there would be hell to pay and there would be more blame than responsibility.
At best they are not thinking things through. And, in a true “civil disobedience” action (ala: MLK or John Lewis) they are aware there may be consequences (likely arrests) and believe strongly enough in their mission to accept that. This particular group of “All of US” seems to want to act without freely without any consequences or responsibility. And, in this particular group, it seems they have a few leaders who are more interested in their own power and 15 minutes of fame than the safety of the inexperienced, if passionate young people involved.
I believe there are many if not most in the BLM movement are working towards equality and I fully support that (I feel I must keep repeating this as some seem to think I’ve taken sides against them). I support protests as they do bring the needed attention to important issues.
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They wear the vests now because the Bumpy’s owner in Schenectady pulled a gun on them while they were picketing his business for trying to stiff a black worker and texting the manager that he doesn’t hire blacks people (who he did not refer to as black people).