In Albany, New York, city police officers defied orders to arrest #Occupy Albany protesters, despite pressure from Governor Cuomo and orders from Mayor Jennings. Albany police were supported in their defiance by New York State troopers.
“We were ready to make arrests if needed, but these people complied with our orders,” a State Police official said. However, he added that State Police supported the defiant posture of Albany police leaders to hold off making arrests for the low-level offense of trespassing, in part because of concern it could incite a riot or draw thousands of protesters in a backlash that could endanger police and the public.
The following is in stark contrast to OPD.
A city police source said his department also was reluctant to damage what he considers to be good community relations that have taken years to rebuild. In addition, the crowd included elderly people and many others who brought their children with them.
“There was a lot of discussion about how it would look if we started pulling people away from their kids and arresting them … and then what do we do with the children?” one officer said.
Contrast this with the extreme police violence last night in Oakland, when police shot tear gas at a woman in a wheelchair, and allegedly shot an Iraq War veteran point blank in the head, leaving him critically injured with a fractured skull.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares:
“If law enforcement engaged in a pre-emptive strike and started arresting people I believe it would lead to calamitous results, and the people protesting so far are peaceful.”
Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff, in a department-wide memo:
“At this time I have no intention of assigning officers to monitor, watch, videotape or influence any behavior that is conducted by our citizens peacefully demonstrating in Academy Park. … In the event we are required to respond to a crime in progress or a reported crime, we will do so in the same manner that we do on a daily basis.”
Commentary from AddictingInfo.org, by Wendy Gittleson:
I’m actually surprised more of this isn’t happening. Police officers are part of the 99%. Their jobs are being cut. Because of manpower shortages, they are put into more danger. Their unions are being busted. Their pensions are being threatened. More power to the police in Albany!
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