ITHACA, NY -- Ithaca police officers arrested several protesters that descended on the police station after the arrest of activist Genevieve Rand on Thursday evening.
According to police, a sergeant was attempting to leave the police department at 5 p.m. with lights and sirens on to report to a shots fired call. Police say a protester was blocking the vehicle and was then arrested for obstructing governmental administration. It is believed that this protester was Rand.
The arrest led to 30 more protesters arriving at the station. According to police, they began climbing onto the front roof, banging on windows and creating graffiti. Some entered the foyer and began to kick and bang at the doors and walls.?
Two hours later police declared an unlawful assembly and several more protesters were arrested when they refused to disperse. Officers shot a burst of pepper spray at the ground in an attempt to break the group up. Video evidence shows officers aiming the spray at the legs and feet of protesters.
All arrested protesters were eventually released that same night, a fact confirmed in a tweet from Mayor Svante Myrick.?
Myrick added in a statement that he hears everyone's concerns, particularly about the use of pepper spray, and that video will be reviewed to ensure all tactics used were appropriate. He also urged protesters from all sides to remain peaceful.
"Left, right or center please do what you can to lower the temperature," he said. "Engage in politics. Fight hard. But there is no need to fight in the streets. Don't let your opposition bait you into violence or property destruction."
This story will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.