It was a peaceful protest at Oneida Square in Utica yesterday as a variety of people from age to ethnicity gathered in solidarity along with the Utica police Department.
“I said to my deputy chief yesterday that I know I may eat my words but i’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to turn out well.” —Chief Mark Williams
Williams gave a lot of credit to the protesters for the peaceful protest and he was pleased that the Utica Police Department could be a part of the event.
“When the request came to have our officers march with them we welcomed the opportunity because you get an incident like this that sparks public outrage but it also affects us as well. We were outraged as well. I think as a department we made this clear from the very beginning that these officers were wrong and they should be held accountable.” —Williams
“In Utica, in our city, there are people that have negative views of the police so I wanted to send a message to say that we hear you, we understand what it is you’re going through and we are working to make sure that there is better community and police relationships in this city.” —Councilman Delvin Moody, 5th Ward
Mayor Robert Palmieri who serves as the public safety commissioner was not at the protest but says he was involved in the preparation.
“Making sure that I had a plan that was in place. I stayed at the command staff to watch what was going on, communicated with everyone at the time. Actually, I was on Oneida Square prior to that making sure that it was safe for all our residents.” —Palmieri
“We had not one fight, not one riot, no piece of property vandalized so I think it was a success all the way around.” —Moody