TROY — Demonstrators appeared to strike an uneasy deal with city police that averted unrest late Sunday.
But despite protest leaders acknowledging an early baseline for discussion, demonstrators continued to protest late Sunday outside the city Police Station following a day of peaceful demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism.
Protesters squared off with police for hours before organizers dispatched a leader to huddle with a police rep.
Tasheca Medina, a leader with the grassroots group Justice for Dahmeek, initially returned from the brief chat, announced a solution couldn’t be immediately reached and asked crowds to disperse.
But following criticism from several in the crowd, organizers said they would remain, urging the group to be vigilant against what they described as “white supremacists” and “skinheads” seeking to disrupt the gathering skulking the city under the cloak of darkness.
City police earlier announced they stopped a suspicious-looking group clad in fatigues, some with handguns.
A preliminary investigation is underway.
Security agents in the crowd urged for calm, worrying that police would use violence to disrupt the group.
Luz Marquez urged unity.
“If some say we should talk, and some say we should stay, we’re not ready,” Marquez said, noting it took demonstrators in Albany several days to refine their protocols and messaging.
The peaceful crowd remained as of 10:15 p.m. but despite the often-tense atmosphere supercharged with racial tension, there were no skirmishes with law enforcement lining the perimeter and separated from protesters by roughly 50 feet.
Demonstrators remained for hours following a peaceful protest at Riverfront Park that drew up to 11,000, organizers said.
For the past several hours, it was a stalemate as a group of approximately 350 people chanted at police and passed bullhorns around swapping stories of general distrust and police brutality in their community.
Officers bolstered their numbers to roughly 60 personnel as drones whirred overhead alongside a helicopter.
Organizers earlier urged the crowd to stay back from police barricades asking attendees with children to clear out as they braced for the long haul.
Earlier, the crowd split into two packs 100 feet apart on 5th Street before rejoining, chanting at police.
At one point, a pack of motorcyclists with jackets identifying themselves as members of the “Suicide Squad” cut through the crowd and paused to burn rubber for several minutes before racing off in a cloud of acrid smoke.
Dozens of medics milled about, using Christ United Methodist Church as headquarters.
Correction 11:54 p.m. 6/7: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Tasheca Medina’s last name.