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IPD chief issues statement ahead of rallies in city of Ithaca

Ithaca Police Chief Dennis Nayor issued a statement on Tuesday, outlining his department’s position on an apparent rally and counter protest set to take place Saturday at the Ithaca Commons.

“I have been made aware that a large rally is scheduled for this Saturday on the Commons and simultaneously, a counter protest is also rumored to be occurring. I am also aware that acts of aggression and non-peaceful activities have occurred as recently as last Friday at another local rally. I have received reports that this type of unlawful behavior has been indicated to occur again at Saturday’s rally, and it is completely unacceptable,” the statement issued Tuesday read.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Chief Nayor says that support for any position must happen peacefully and encouraged anyone who intends to agitate at Saturday’s event to stay home.

“As we at the IPD have done for the past 19 weeks, we continue to support peoples’ first amendment rights to peacefully assemble in protest, but we will not tolerate acts of violence or vandalism. The weekly demonstrations have devolved from peaceful gatherings to destructive protests and this is dangerous, harmful, and completely counterproductive to the wellbeing of our community,” Nayor continued.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Read the remainder of the announcement below:

“I have reached out to organizers and affiliates from all parties urging peaceful assemblage. Despite our best collective effort, however, we in law enforcement can not guarantee safety at non-permitted events such as protests, so please take this fact into serious consideration as
both organizers or attendees.

Also, as two additional reminders: The health Department guidelines require physical distancing of 6 feet between others, use of masks, and gatherings of no more than 50 people to reduce the spread of Covid. Extensive efforts have been implemented in Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca to limit the spread of Covid to maintain the health of the community and our economy so please understand that demonstrations such as expected for Saturday run counter
to those efforts. Similarly, the City requires permits for gatherings to be sanctioned, so please see chapters 132, 157, and 250 of the Ithaca City Code.

Finally, we have contacted surrounding law enforcement agencies to coordinate and address acts of violence and vandalism so please share this with anyone who would benefit from such information.”