After what New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo did for the LGBT population earlier this year, it's sad to read reports about his response to the Occupy protests in Albany. (Albany may not be a big city, but it is the capital of the state Wall Street is in, remember. The laws are made here.) Cuomo reportedly pressured Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and city police to make arrests and enforce a city curfew.
The situation intensified late Friday evening when Jennings, who has cultivated a strong relationship with Cuomo, directed his department to arrest protesters who refused to leave the city-owned portion of a large park that's across Washington Avenue from the Capitol and City Hall.
On the positive side, though, three cheers for the city police, who didn't bow to the political pressure and allowed the peaceful protest to continue.
"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.
"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." (Emphasis added)