Hundreds gathered for peaceful protest in Albany

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- A peaceful protest took place near downtown Albany Monday afternoon. Members of the Albany Police Department stood alongside protestors.

Over hundreds of peaceful protestors gathered in the area of Henry Johnson Boulevard to promote justice. Due to the organized protest, Exit 6 off of 1-90 was shut down in both directions.

The protest is in response to the death George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody.

Around 4 p.m. protestors began their way walking through downtown Albany. There was a heavy police presence in the area patrolling traffic. Over hundreds of peaceful protesters made their way down Henry Johnson Blvd, to Clinton Ave. to Lark Street, to Madison Ave, to New Scotland Ave. to Western Ave. and back to Central Avenue. Many protestors say they just wanted to peacefully march through the city.

“We are just trying to have a peaceful protest. We are not trying to start any violence or anything like that. We just want the world to open up and have all of us come together. It’s not a black, white yellow, or brown thing, it’s about the people,” said Shalako Banks, organizer.

Many say remaining peaceful during the protest spoke volumes.

“We are representing this community for our families and our friends. We are stepping up for our rights. We are taking an oath that police officers took to protect us for our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness,” said Manetertep Eldey, organizer.

Albany Chief of Police Eric Hawkins kneeled in solidarity with protestors to show his respect. Yesterday in Schenectady, members of the police department kneeled with protestors and walked hand in hand. Hawkins says he came out to support his community.

“It made people feel better, and I think it made people feel good to know they can come to talk to me. It was a chance for them to talk to me unfiltered and raw. It was a way to talk about things and get some honest straight answers,” said Hawkins.

Protestors say they appreciate seeing Chief Hawkins kneeling down. However, many say they wish other officers would have taken a knee as well.

“He did show humility and we definitely appreciate that. But at the same time in token other officers didn’t should of shown signs of humility, when it came to taking a knee.” said Eldey.

Members of the community held signs in honor of George Floyd and they chanted no justice no peace. Many say it was a day of unity and true justice.

“We need to come together and the time is now,” said Banks.

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