ITHACA, N.Y. – Graffiti was spray painted on the side of a building in downtown Ithaca days after a crowd of about 100 people protested police brutality in front of the Ithaca Police Department headquarters.
The graffiti is on the side of 126 W. State St., along the wall where the Medusa Tattoo Studio is located.
It graffiti reads, “Fuck IPD” and “No, No Cops!”
Officer Jamie Williamson said he doesn’t know how long the graffiti has been there, but he first saw it Monday morning. Nobody has been charged with spray painting the wall downtown as of early Monday afternoon.
Williamson said, “It is the most visible act of aggression toward the police department within the last couple of weeks, I’d say. And it’s unfortunate because we have had an outpouring of support from members of the community supporting what we do and how we help this community.”
He said police officers have received emails from people supporting IPD and been stopped on the street by people offering condolences about recent shootings throughout the country that have targeted officers.
But Williamson said IPD officers understand people’s complaints about police brutality, which Chief John Barber has also openly spoken out against.
For instance, about 100 protesters took to the streets Thursday to protest inequities in the justice system and policing, specifically in regards to people of color. They rallied at the Bernie Milton Pavilion Stage downtown and marched to Ithaca Police Headquarters at 120 E. Clinton St.
At the rally, it appears that people spoke out against police shootings, police brutality and the “militarization” of police agencies nationwide, including in Ithaca.
“We also understand that they are, from their perspective, frustrated,” Williamson said. “I always encourage folks to speak their mind. I think that one of the greatest things that a person can do is advocate for the things they feel strongly about…as long as you can do so peacefully and lawfully.”
In response to the protesters and impromptu march through the streets, Williamson said police decided not to confront the protesters for blocking traffic, but instead set up barriers so they could march without the danger of being hit by vehicles.
They made a radius around the area with road barriers to keep protesters safe from oncoming traffic and then hung back. No arrests were made and people left IPD around 11 p.m.
“They didn’t really engage us like you see on TV. They didn’t get in our face or anything,” he said. “I get people standing up and advocating for themselves. That’s what they honesty believe in.”
Featured photo provided by IPD.