Schenectady — Police Chief Eric Clifford said the department is opening a criminal mischief investigation into a protest Tuesday evening that ended with a broken glass panel on a door at the police station and profanities written in chalk on the building.
The protest was held in response to the shooting death of another Black man in Minnesota by a police officer there.
Several people gathered Tuesday evening outside the Schenectady Police Department to protest the death of Daunte Wright, who was shot by a Minnesota police officer following a traffic stop Sunday. Wright’s death has led to protests against the police and police brutality around the nation.
Around 20 people attended the protest, some of whom left messages in chalk pointed at police: “We won’t forget,” “Stop killing us,” “Blood is on your hands,” “Cops and klan are hand-in-hand.”
The chief said officers observed the protest taking place but did not take any actions against it. However, Clifford said an investigation is being conducted to determine who broke the lower glass panel to one of the interior doors of the Police Department vestibule and tagged the side of the department with vulgar graffiti.
“We are using every available resource,” he said.
A Schenectady City Fire Department truck had to be taken out of service to clean the graffiti, he said.
“There’s a cost associated with taking that rig out of service,” he said.
He also said public safety was compromised because firefighters were needed to clean the graffiti.
Clifford said the behavior would be taken into future consideration for how the police will respond to protests.
“It won’t happen again,” he said.
The reported event organizers — Mikayla Foster, Kasey Charles and Queena Lana — could not be reached for comment.