Some peaceful protestors are finding themselves ‘putting out fires’

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Protests in Albany started out peacefully on Monday, but eventually things got out of hand. Some protestors are now growing frustrated with the agitators and fear that their message could get lost in the chaos.

Tim Kitterman, of Rensselaer County, was at the protest Monday night and decided to take out his camera to record a live feed so people at home could see exactly what was happening. He told NEWS10 ABC he felt it was important to get a look at the situation from all different perspectives. 

“The overwhelming sentiment I found throughout the night was that the peaceful protestors that were there just trying to protest and make a difference and be heard were getting interrupted by the people who are there to riot,” said Kitterman.

He said while some of the protestors were not bothered by the violence, the majority of them were becoming upset with the instigators and bad actors.

“Everybody was just livid that this was happening and that people were discrediting the peaceful protest and the movement in general,” said Kitterman.

Kitterman said he walked by a few trash cans that had been set on fire. He also captured a moment where protestors rushed over using their water bottles to put out the flames.

“People were just yelling, ‘What the heck! Why are you doing this? Stop that, cut it out, what are you doing?’ Then as the night goes on, the peaceful protestors dwindle because it’s clear that it’s no longer peaceful,” said Kitterman.

Manetertep El Dey is a community organizer and a small business owner in Albany. He was at Monday’s protest encouraging everyone to remain peaceful and focus on getting their message across. He said he believes some of the protestors became upset when it was only Police Chief Eric Hawkins who took a knee to show solidarity and not all of the officers.

“The emotion and frustration that has built up in individuals may come out at the wrong time. I’m not going to say it’s wrong or right because they have the right to express themselves, but they do have to hold themselves accountable for their own ethics and how they conduct themselves,” said El Dey.

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