SCHENECTADY — In wake of last week’s vandalism at the police station, the entrance to the Liberty Street building where protesters wrote in chalk is now surrounded by temporary fencing.
There’s one narrow lane for the public to enter the lobby.
Police Sgt. Matthew Dearing, a department spokesman, on Monday said it was a precautionary step by the Police Department until it can explore other options.
Last Tuesday, in response to the shooting death of a Black man in Minnesota by a police officer there, a protest in Schenectady ended with a broken glass panel on a door at the police station and profanities written in chalk on the building.
Several people gathered last Tuesday evening outside the Schenectady Police Department to protest the death of Daunte Wright, who was shot by a police officer following a traffic stop on April 11.
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.”
No arrests have been made in the Schenectady vandalism case, according to Dearing.
Simultaneous to the death of Wright, closing arguments are being heard in the case of fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The former officer is on trial for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin stands accused of kneeling on the neck of a 46-year-old Black man, George Floyd, leading to Floyd’s death during an arrest on suspicion he used a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store May 25.
That case also has sparked protests and outrage across the country, including in Schenectady.
As the Chauvin case nears conclusion, the potential exists for strong reaction to a verdict in the Chauvin trial, Dearing acknowledged.
“We monitor all of that,” Dearing said. “Just what effect it’ll have on us here locally, we’re not sure yet but we do monitor, in keeping an eye on that.”
The reported organizers of last Tuesday’s protest were Mikayla Foster, Kasey Charles and Queena Lana.
All of Us co-founder Jamaica Miles said she had no comment, citing the ongoing investigation, when asked Monday if her organization attended the protest in question or if it denounced the vandalism.