Local group speaks out against Saratoga Springs report on protests

Local

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton released a statement Tuesday regarding protests in the city on July 30. Co-founders of All of Us said the city only showed one side of the protesters.

The statement further outlined the situation that happened between a Back the Blue protest and Black Lives Matter/All of Us counter-protest.

Jamaica Miles and Shawn Young are the co-founders of All of Us. Both of them read through the statement and watched the series of videos. They felt indifferent and didn’t agree that it was an actual depiction of what happened that day.

“All the cameras in the videos are facing in one direction. They are only facing towards the Black Lives Matter protestors,” said Miles. 

All of Us posted its response on their Facebook page. They stated there has been no justice and there will be no peace.

NEWS10 ABC reached out to the city and police department to further discuss their protocols. They referred us back to their statement released on Tuesday.

Dalton said the Back the Blue organizers had planned their event for more than a week and had communicated with law enforcement and intention. They also filed a Declaration of Intent to
Demonstrate as required by City Code. Dalton said they stated it would be peaceful and requested the ability to march down Broadway. They also asked to hold a part of their protest on the steps of City Hall, but the city asked the group to reconsider due to the number of people attending.

Police said they began seeing social media posts from people representing the groups “BLM” and “All of US” to show up and counter-protest the “Back to Blue” rally.

One of the social media posts asked counter-protestors to be in Congress Park by 5:30 p.m. and stated “it’s time to really show them we mean business.” It was at that time that the Saratoga Springs Police Department made their decision to add assistance from the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, New York State Police and New York State Park Police.

The Chief of Police said they authorized the use of the pepper projectiles once BLM members refused to exit the roadway. However, Miles said that was not the case.

“In the video, I see people just standing arm and arm. They are not approaching anyone but just simply standing,” she said.

Three individuals were arrested during the protests:

  • 16-year-old female who was issued an appearance ticket
  • 17-year-old male who police say wasn’t cooperating and was issued an appearance ticket
  • 19-year-old Andre Simmons who was arrested and release with an appearance ticket

Young said, as a group, they feel police only showed them and not the other protestors. He said their voices are not being heard in the right way.

“This is about us fighting for our humanity, and this is us demanding change,” he said.

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