Albany, NYIn response to the brutal attack by police on protesters outside of the South End police station in Albany, Gabriel Silva, Citizen Action’s Capital Region community organizer, released the following statement:

“Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Eric Hawkins are trying to paint a false narrative that undermines the magnitude of brutal force they unleashed on protestors who peacefully gathered to demand accountability for police misconduct in our communities. Make no mistake —this was a deliberate attack on the movement for Black lives and to maintain a status quo that keeps Black and Brown people stuck in a vicious cycle of trauma. Instead of sympathizing with the movement for collective liberation, which would only make our communities stronger, Mayor Sheehan and Chief Hawkins used their power to inflict more harm on Black and Brown people.

“Activists and community leaders were surrounded by dozens of militarized police with hidden badge numbers, were beaten with clubs, pepper-sprayed and arrested on trumped-up charges. The attempt to demonize Black and Brown people who are fighting to end the violence against them is an age-old tactic of white supremacy. The folks who were arrested were well within their rights to protest. Their forceful removal that Mayor Sheehan condoned was shameful. This is not how trust is built.”