ALBANY — An additional 200 state police troopers will be deployed to Rochester tonight, while 150 extra troopers will be sent to Buffalo.
The cities requested the extra law enforcement after each was gripped by violence and looting Saturday evening and into the night.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussed the situation Sunday in his daily update. He said the National Guard is also on standby if needed.
He said the state will take its cues from local officials.
“We’ve gotten them all the resources they need,” he said. “Any other city that asks for state police, we can provide that. If they have more than that, we have the National Guard.”
Cuomo described Saturday as “an ugly night across this nation and an ugly night across this state”, with additional protests expected tonight.
He said that people, and he himself, are outraged in the aftermath of George Lloyd’s death in Minneapolis. But he noted the names other African American men who wound up dead while being arrested, saying the names changed but the skin color remains the same.
“The real issue is the continuing racism in this country, and it is chronic, endemic and institutional,” he said. “It speaks to a collective hypocrisy. We’re good at telling people how to live our lives and we preach a high standard, but we still discriminate on the basis of skin color,” he said.
But it’s equally true violence never works, Cuomo said.
“How many times have we burned down our won businesses, our own neighborhoods and our own communities?” he said. “Burning down your own house and your own neighborhood never makes sense.”
Violence creates a scapegoat which allows for shifting blame and putting the focus on looting, instead of murder by a police officer, Cuomo said. He said state Attorney General Letitia James will also be reviewing actions surrounding the New York City protests and the action and procedures used.
Cuomo said federal and state governments need to demand that allegations of police abuse be investigated by an independent, outside agency, and that police officers accused of wrongdoing and under investigation must have their disciplinary records released.
He also said people need to demand the same level of funding per pupil for children in schools.
“There is no reason or excuse today for any child to live in poverty,” he said. “If government leaders cant, won’t or don’t know how to do it. Vote them out ... We need to mobilize the best in our people rather than allowing the worst.”
Responding to questions, Cuomo acknowledged COVID-19’s connection with the unrest, saying it’s no coincidence it happened in the middle of a pandemic. He noted factors including stress, isolation and mental health issues.
In other matters, the number of COVID-19 deaths continue to decrease, he said. A total of 56 deaths were reported statewide, including 49 in hospitals and seven in nursing homes.