Protesters Appeal To Ithaca Common Council For Justice In Arrests Of Black Man, Woman

More

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Last nights Ithaca Common Council meeting was filled with supporters of a black man and woman who were arrested in April 6 on the Ithaca Commons.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

Russell Rickford (right) and other demonstrators at the Ithaca Common Council meeting, July 3, 2019. (Celia Clarke/WSKG)

The arrests of Rose de Groat and Cadji Ferguson lead to an internal police investigation. Police body cam footage and surrounding security videos showed officers forcefully arresting the two.  

It also lead to demonstrations by Black Lives Matter – Ithaca. “I think it’s important to make a public statement of our disgust, really,” said Russell Rickford, who’s with BLM-Ithaca. “And our outrage and our intent to continue to pursue justice.”

Rickford said the group has more activities planned to bring attention to the circumstances surrounding the arrests and their aftermath.

Ithaca’s acting Police chief Dennis Nayor said the investigation found that officers involved did not violate any policy, laws or training. Details on the investigation can not be released, per state law.

Black Lives Matter Ithaca put out a request for people to attend the meeting. They want the Council to do anything they can to have charges against the two dropped.

They also want the Community Police Board to have more power.

Graham Kerslick is a member of the Common Council and the liason to Community Police Board. “In order for the Community Police Board to really, kind of, discuss that in detail there would have to be some kind of complaint from a member of the public that the Community Police Board could then investigate,” he said, adding that no one has filed a complaint so the board hasn’t looked into the situation.