SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Attorney General’s Office has confirmed an investigation into whether Black Lives Matter protestors were targeted with excessive force and arrests in the Spa City.
Black Lives Matter Saratoga Leader Lexis Figuereo has been in conversation with the AG’s office for nearly two months.
Figuereo said the AG’s office spoke to him about the overall treatment of activists by the Saratoga Police Department since 2020. Additionally, he said they discussed his subsequent arrests for a disorderly conduct violation and two misdemeanor counts of obstructing governmental administration from the department.
“I was very surprised how fast and expedited this thing happened,” Figuereo said. “Maybe feeling a little bit of accomplishment.”
The City of Saratoga Springs responded through its representation Attorney John Aspland, Managing Partner at Glens Falls-based FitzGerald Morris Baker Firth.
“The City of Saratoga Springs has received correspondence from the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office concerning allegations of possible violations of state and federal law as it relates to recent protests that occurred in our city.
The OAG has commenced this investigation to assess whether the protestors were targeted with excessive force and retaliatory arrests. The City takes these allegations seriously and we will endeavor to work with the OAG to address these allegations and demonstrate the appropriateness of the actions taken by the members of the police department in response to the recent protests. The City will be working with its outside counsel in addressing the OAG’s concerns.”City of Saratoga Springs
“The idea that the AG is investigating whether or not the police are abusing their power means that we ensure that every individual has the protection of their First Amendment rights, which is something that every individual is supposed to have,” Jamaica Miles, All of Us Cofounder, said.
Miles added that if the City of Saratoga is taking the investigation seriously, they’ll do more.
“Them stating they are willing to cooperate, what choice do they have?,” Miles said. “The fact that they are being investigated for civilian rights violations against the very people that are calling for their civilian rights to be protected, then what they will do is not simply cooperate with the AG, but cooperate with the residents that have called for change.”
Figuereo said Black Lives Matter Saratoga has attended nearly every Saratoga Springs City Council Meeting since June of 2020.
“My dream outcome is that police are held accountable, all charges are dropped, and that the police have some ramifications for their actions,” Figuereo said.
He added that he hopes the AG’s office will also investigate the death of Daryl Mount, and the Civil Review Board has increased jurisdiction in Saratoga Springs.
NEWS10 reached out to the Saratoga Police Department and the representation for the City for Saratoga for further comment and have not received a response.