|Gov. Andrew Cuomo|
Albany's Mayor Gerald D. Jennings, under pressure from the Cuomo Administration, made the call for the city's curfew to be enforced on Friday, but the police have not yet complied. The State Police Civil Disturbance unit was also deployed, but has not moved forward with any arrests.
"We were ready to make arrests if needed, but these people complied with our orders," a State Police official said. However, he added that State Police supported the defiant posture of Albany police leaders to hold off making arrests for the low-level offense of trespassing, in part because of concern it could incite a riot or draw thousands of protesters in a backlash that could endanger police and the public.Read more at the Albany Times Union.
"We don't have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble," the official said. "The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor."
A city police source said his department also was reluctant to damage what he considers to be good community relations that have taken years to rebuild. In addition, the crowd included elderly people and many others who brought their children with them.
"There was a lot of discussion about how it would look if we started pulling people away from their kids and arresting them ... and then what do we do with the children?" one officer said.