In Albany, last night, Governor Cuomo and Mayor Jennings ordered state and local police to enforce a curfew, and remove the Occupy Albany protesters.
The police defied those orders.
With protesters acting peacefully, local and state police agreed that low level arrests could cause a riot, so they decided instead to defy Cuomo and Jennings.
“We don’t have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble,” a state official said. “The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor.”
Things are breaking now. With police siding with the first amendment and the right of the people to peaceably assemble against the wishes of elected officials.
The fact that the police refused to act proves one thing:
Those governments which attack the protesters do so for political reasons, instead of reasons of public safety.
The Albany Times Union:
ALBANY -- In a tense battle of wills, state troopers and Albany police held off making arrests of dozens of protesters near the Capitol over the weekend even as Albany's mayor, under pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration, had urged his police chief to enforce a city curfew.
The situation intensified late Friday evening when Jennings, who has cultivated a strong relationship with Cuomo, directed his department to arrest protesters who refused to leave the city-owned portion of a large park that's across Washington Avenue from the Capitol and City Hall.
At the Capitol, in anticipation of possibly dozens of arrests, a State Police civil disturbance unit was quietly activated, according to officials briefed on the matter but not authorized to comment publicly. But as the curfew neared, the group of protesters estimated at several hundred moved across an invisible line in the park from state land onto city property.
"We were ready to make arrests if needed, but these people complied with our orders," a State Police official said. However, he added that State Police supported the defiant posture of Albany police leaders to hold off making arrests for the low-level offense of trespassing, in part because of concern it could incite a riot or draw thousands of protesters in a backlash that could endanger police and the public.
First #OccupyMarines, then #OccupyPolice.
The ground is shifting.
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5:26 PM PT: Stolen Water had a great idea!
This behavior should be rewarded, but I don't think that we should cram the non-emergency line at the police department with our calls. They gave us the Chief's e-mail.
Say "thank you!"