When attending the rally and march for justice in Kingston on Saturday, May 30, I was impressed by the diversity of the crowd and the organization of the event by young people who had come out to mourn George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmed Aubrey and so many other people of color killed by police, and to demand justice and police accountability.
Given the risks involved when protesting during a pandemic, I was especially relieved to see not a single person without a face mask. I was proud of the community for coming out safely and peacefully during such highly charged and difficult ...onditions.
Unfortunately, on my walk back from City Hall, as I reached the Restorative Justice Center, I encountered two police vehicles cornering a group of four young women, one of whom had just been assaulted by an older man during an altercation over an offensive sign he was carrying. While questioning them, neither officer wore a face mask while standing much closer than the recommended 6 feet for safety. One officer asked one of the young women to provide identification, and as she struggled to find it, I asked if she was required to produce it. He insisted that she was, which I later verified was false.
In the end, the parties agreed to go part without filing charges. I was left feeling less safe and less confident after witnessing the irresponsible conduct of the police. We must demand Kingston Police do better.
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