The protesters appeared to have splintered off from anti-police demonstrations in Townsend Park, sparked by the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, in Minnesota Sunday afternoon.
The group of protesters marched to the department’s South Station, the Times Union reported. Some in the group were shouting at officers who were guarding the station’s entrance.
At some point, an officer swatted at one of the protester’s megaphones, sending them to the ground. Another protester tried to scale a fence and a different officer pepper-sprayed them in the face. Officers continued to push protesters away from the front entrance of the station and continued to pepper spray them.
Albany Police spokesman Steven Smith said Arch Street remained closed to traffic. Later in the evening, the protesters fizzled out.
“We’re the capital of New York, so having protests is something that we’re certainly used to,” Smith told Fox News. “We do everything we can to make sure people can exercise their First Amendment rights … We do have an obligation though to make sure they’re not damaging public property.”
No arrests were made and no injuries were reported, other than those pepper-sprayed, Smith said.
Wright’s death has reignited nationwide anti-police protests, which reached a fever pitch last summer after George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
The area where Floyd died – just miles from where Wright was killed – was already under heightened tension due to the trial that is now underway for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing Floyd.
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