SCHENECTADY -- Schenectady remained quiet late Sunday and early Monday after peaceful George Floyd protests in the city Sunday afternoon and violent protests a day earlier in Albany.
Both police and Gazette reporter Pete DeMola confirmed downtown was quiet, after overnight online rumors otherwise, recording video at 1:40 a.m. of an all clear downtown and then tweeting a photo a half hour later of the same.
"PSA: We’ve been tipped off to Facebook rumors that rioting is underway in downtown Schenectady. Those rumors are false. It’s 2:18 a.m. and here’s the scene," DeMola tweeted then as he tweeted a photo of an empty State Street.
Police spokesman Sgt. Nick Mannix Monday morning confirmed little happened elsewhere, either, including on Upper Union Street, where another rumor centered.
"Quiet night," he wrote via text.
The Saturday unrest in Albany and Sunday unease in Schenectady followed protests across the country this past week over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy imposed a curfew starting at 7 p.m. Sunday night "out of an abundance of caution, numerous businesses boarded up windows in advance of anything happening and authorities barricaded some streets near the police department, City Hall and on State Street.
Also this morning:
- Schenectady Police Chief, officers, take knee in solidarity with protesters
- Schenectady settles into state of unease evening after George Floyd protests
- Images: Sunday evening in Schenectady
But despite what both protesters and city police characterized as a peaceful event with a productive outcome, some tension remained as the curfew set in as a group of roughly 30 protesters engaged with officers in riot gear guarding Proctors.
The group dispersed to the city police station blocks away, where they sparred with Niskayuna police officers guarding the station as police monitored from the rooftop.
The scene at the police station, however, ended without incident and was punctuated with a scene that echoed the scene earlier where Police Chief Eric Clifford spoke with protesters and then he and officers in riot gear behind him took a knee in solidarity.
The evening scene, captured by Gazette photographer Marc Schultz, saw city resident Cory McDonald chastising the group confronting police there, then hugging an officer. McDonald then left, as he implored others to do so, too.
A shameless plug for newspapers: Those folks debunking social media rumors to keep you safe? In the middle of the night amid civil unrest and a health pandemic? Your local paper, keeping watch to give you the most timely, accurate info. Subscribe.— Pete DeMola (@pmdemola) June 1, 2020