SARATOGA SPRINGS – It was a more subdued event calling for justice by the All of Us group in Saratoga Springs Monday night.
The group held a rally and vigil on the seventh anniversary of the fateful fall of 22-year-old Darryl Mount Jr. from a two-story scaffolding behind 422 Broadway in 2013.
“He was hospitalized for months, then moved to his mother’s home where he died on Aug. 31. This is a lot different than our normal events,” All of Us leader and organizer Lexis Figuereo said Monday at Saratoga’s High Rock Park. “At normal events we go in the streets, we do our protest, our chants, our shouts, our speak outs.”
On July 30, the All of Us organization hosted a counter protest of the Back the Blue group that supports law enforcement in Saratoga Springs. The night ended with multiple arrests after an armored police vehicle arrived as the All of Us organization was blocking Broadway and Congress Street. Rubber bullets and tear gas were used to disperse the protesters.
“This event [Monday] is bringing people together, remembering him, having a candlelight vigil after we do our march and our walk,” Figuereo said. “We had shirts and buttons made. Most of the speeches are going to be about Darryl and ways to prevent what happened to Darryl doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Mount was with a group on Caroline Street during the predawn hours Aug. 31 when Saratoga Springs police say they saw him slam a woman’s head into a brick wall. When officers tried to break up the scuffle, Mount — who was then on parole — took off running.
About a half-dozen officers chased Mount through an alley on the north side of the Washington Building, firing Tasers at him but missing.
Police said they lost sight of Mount as he ran into a construction area at the back of the building. They eventually found him unconscious and injured on the sidewalk below the scaffolding, police said.
Mount’s family, including his mother, Patty Jackson, has not been satisfied with the Saratoga Springs Police Departments statements and a civil suit against the city is still pending.
According to previous news accounts, the city refused to sanction an independent probe and was untruthful to the media and the public about conducting an internal investigation. That evidence was introduced during a pre-trial deposition into the family’s lawsuit.
Monday’s event at High Rock Park included Shawn Young, lead organizer with All of Us who pleaded with the crowd of more than 250 people to seek justice for Mount.
Jermaine Hammond of Saratoga Springs, a friend of Darryl Mount and the family, spoke with a heavy heart.
“This is so [expletive deleted] emotional for me, you don’t know, you don’t know, but I hope by the end of this message, really, every person who is here, even the police that are in the back, even the people that never knew Darryl Mount can understand the reason that we are all here,” Hammond said. “To shine a light on a life that should not have been taken.”
Hammond read a poem he wrote for the event calling out the pain from Mount’s death and the lack of justice to date by the Police Department and its administration.
Rebecca Schultz of Saratoga shared her pain from the loss of Mount.
“My son never got the chance to meet his cousin because unfortunately seven years ago Darryl made a choice that should have never come with the repercussions that it did,” Schultz said to the crowd. “He decided to run in a dark alley with no cameras and no witnesses with SSPD chasing him.
“We don’t know what happened, still to this day we have no idea what happened.”
The crowd gathered and walked down the right side of High Rock Avenue before turning onto the Lake Avenue sidewalks and gathering once again on the steps of Saratoga Springs City Hall.
After additional speakers were invited to address the crowd that filled the sidewalk around the municipal building, the group separated into two groups and marched silently down both sides of Broadway on the sidewalk.
The groups made two stops along the way, standing back, allowing pedestrians to pass unencumbered and lighting candles in Mount’s memory.
The two groups joined, walking down Phila Street, and marching up Putnam Street, adjacent to Putnam Place, behind 422 Broadway, the site of Mount’s fatal fall.
The group filled the entire alleyway where speakers again called for justice for Mount. The vigil continued at that site into the night and was expected to return to High Rock Park as darkness set in.