Activists Plan Protest at Johnson City Village Court
A group calling itself “Stakeholders of Broome County” is planning a demonstration at the Johnson City Village Court following an incident that happened last month in which Johnson City Police said they were confronted by an “angry mob” on Hudson Street during a code violation investigation.
The group claims police acted inappropriately during a faceoff between a property manager, tenants facing eviction and their supporters.
Three people were arrested during the confrontation with several police agencies on April 14 and charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, harassment and obstructing governmental administration.
According to news accounts following the confrontation, Village Police Chief Brett Dodge said police were called to assist code enforcement investigating a possible fire hazard and were confronted by about thirty people. Other law enforcement agencies were called in to assist and the Chief says an officer was shoved to the ground. Dodge says police used pepper spray and took three people into custody.
In a lengthy news release issued May 3, the group claims law enforcement threatened those gathered with arrest and, when the crowd failed to disperse, quote: “deployed pepper spray into the crowd---which included women and at least two children.”
While Chief Dodge said there were no injuries, the group claims several people were hurt.
The “Stakeholders” say they plan “A Community Response” at the scheduled arraignment in Village Court Wednesday morning for the three who were arrested.
The statement demands dismissal of the charges against the three or, quote: “escalating demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience will continue to bring light to the injustices unfolding in our community.”