KINDERHOOK—“State Police have determined the gun in possession of the homeowners was legally possessed and the incident which was captured on video obtained by police did not reveal any violation of law,” according to a press release issued by State Police Troop K Commander Major Michael J. Drake, July 17.
On July 11, State Police responded to the village of Kinderhook for a report of a disturbance.
At about 4:15 p.m., near the end of the march, protesters participating in a peaceful Black Lives Matter march through the Village of Kinderhook, encountered a man and a woman, who came out of a Rothermel Lane residence yelling obscenities and later wielded a handgun.
State Police said in the release, “at this time, there have been no arrests and this investigation remains ongoing.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact State Police at 845-677-7300.
The following is an eye-witness account of the incident from Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson reported in the July 16 issue of The Columbia Paper.
Hudson mayor questions why couple waving handgun went unrestrained
By DIANE VALDEN
KINDERHOOK—State Police are investigating an incident in the village involving the alleged brandishing of a handgun at the conclusion of a Black Lives Matter protest, Saturday, July 11 shortly after 4 p.m.
According to his eye-witness account of the incident posted on Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson’s Facebook page, the mayor said he was part of the peaceful demonstration during which marchers passed by people sitting in their yards holding supportive signs and one resident even handed out refreshments to marchers.
The mayor said, the village treated the marchers well. “There was a ton of love in Kinderhook” and “I was proud to be part of the march.”
At the tail end of the event as the marchers passed by a home on Rothermel Lane, a couple came out of their residence and the “gentleman” began trying to “rile everybody up” by “using bad language” and yelling. Mayor Johnson said he could not make out exactly what the man was saying because there was loud chanting coming from the marchers. The mayor said he urged protesters to ignore the man and keep going.
The next thing he knew, the man yelled to his wife, “Go get my gun.” The woman went into the house and came out with a handgun.
‘Imagine if I pulled a gun. It would have been all over the newspapers. I would have been arrested.’
Mayor Kamal Johnson
City of Hudson
Mayor Johnson has part of the encounter on video, which shows the woman with the gun in her hand. She handed the weapon to her husband.
The mayor said there were police officers in front of and behind the marchers and as soon as the man realized police were there, he handed the gun back to his wife and she ran into the house with it.
A trooper went into the house after the woman and subsequently came out holding the gun with two fingers as if it were “an insect” and placed it in the patrol car.
The mayor said he questioned the trooper about what was going to happen if the gun was legal?
Mayor Johnson said he asked the trooper why he was outside the house talking to protesters, when the man was inside, where he reportedly had more guns.
The trooper told him an investigation would be conducted.
The mayor noted there were elderly people, families and children at the march. He said the trooper told him if he was concerned about everyone’s safety, he should keep on walking down the road.
The couple was brought out of the house, one at a time and placed in a patrol car about 45 minutes later, the mayor recounted. The mayor said he again questioned the trooper about why the couple were not read their rights and why they were not handcuffed. “This is menacing, waving a gun around,” said the mayor. The trooper did not respond, but drove away with the couple in custody.
The mayor said he was “extremely disappointed” not to see the couple put in handcuffs and lamented that the “completely peaceful” demonstration was ruined by this “one guy who clearly came out to incite violence,” the mayor said.
“Imagine if I pulled a gun. It would have been all over the newspapers. I would have been arrested. Why do we have to defend why we do not deserve to have a gun pointed at us? These are the reasons for the protest,” the mayor said.
As of press time Wednesday afternoon State Police had still issued no information about the incident. State Police Public Information Officer Aaron Hicks told The Columbia Paper earlier this week that no arrests had been made, that the investigation was ongoing and the evidence was being examined to determine probable cause.