Soares on Occupy Albany
October 24th, 2011
“For some people who arenít familiar with Albany this may seem like some big event,” said Albany County District Attorney David Soares referring to “Occupy Albany.”
“For me, driving by the Capitol and seeing the protests–this is just a Monday– you have protests here all the time. We have people exercising their first amendment rights peacefully. It has been our position not to prosecute them if they are arrested and this time we put it out there that this was our position beforehand,” Soares said responding to reports that his reluctance to prosecute Occupy Albany Protesters stopped the Albany Police Department from bending to pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings to arrest protesters for violating a curfew.
“Sure there are some people that come from out of town who want to break things or attack law enforcement as acts of civil disobedience, to get on television but these are not those people,” said Soares.
“The backdrop to this is that on Friday we had three kids shot and you are going to try and tell Chief Krokoff to take his officers off those cases to arrest people who are playing the guitar and eating cider donuts?”
Two fifteen-year-olds and a twenty year old were shot in Albany’s West Hill neighborhood on Friday. Soares says that Albany County does not have the resources to arrest and prosecute people involved in peaceful protest.
Soares says he has had “open lines of communications” with the protest organizers and the police department since before the protests started. He says he has checked in with them about concerns he had about providing proper provisions for the children and elderly present at the protest and that he and the APD continue to monitor the situation. But he says he has not hasn’t been pressured by any official to make arrests.By David King on October 24, 2011, 11:11 am
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