Albany police clashed with protesters on Thursday while clearing out an “unlawful” encampment that was set up outside of a precinct, a report said.
Eight people were arrested during the confrontation outside of the South Station that began after police gave protesters 15 minutes to leave the area that has been occupied for several days, the Albany Times Union reported.
Videos from the scene posted to Twitter by Times Union reporter Eduardo Medina show officers wrestle several protesters to the ground just steps away from the media.
Shortly before police moved in, Albany Chief of Police Eric Hawkins warned of the encampment’s removal on Twitter.
“We have heard the grievances of the protesters loud and clear,” Hawkins wrote.
“We have also heard the concerns from members of that neighborhood as well as officers & non-sworn staff who serve from the South Station. For public safety purposes, it is time to end this unlawful occupation,” he said.
Albany’s mayor, Kathy Sheehan, said she was on board with the decision to clear out encampment.
“I fully support Chief Hawkins’ decision to end the unlawful encampment while providing space for peaceful protests that keeps our residents, workforce, and protestors safe,” Sheehan wrote on Twitter.
“The City will continue to provide safe space for protesters to assemble as we re-open South Station to the public and return the roadway to our residents,” the mayor said.