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Schenectady activists face charges connected to August event

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Schenectady activists face charges connected to August event

SCHENECTADY – Two Black Lives Matters activists who converged on an Aug. 26 community event and angrily confronted police and the mayor weren’t arrested at the time because authorities “did not want to further disrupt the event that they had already disrupted, especially with children and families looking on,” Officer Patrick Irwin, a department spokesman, said Wednesday.

Instead, Mikayla Foster, 22, and Shaqueena Charles, 29, were asked to turn themselves in on charges of disorderly and endangering the welfare of a child, “based on their actions during the event,” Irwin said.

Foster couldn’t be reached, but according to social media, the two intend to turn themselves in Thursday.

Irwin said the police’s detective division launched an investigation and filed for a warrant with the court.

The duo’s actions, which had been recorded live and posted on social media by Foster, but have since been removed, “speak for themselves,” Irwin said.

Letters were sent to Foster and Charles on Sept. 13. As per usual, defendants are asked to appear in court two weeks later, Irwin said.

During the event in the parking lot of Trustco Bank at State Street and Brandywine Avenue, police officers were handing out bicycle helmets to schoolchildren when the activists from vehicles accused local law enforcement of murder and hurled obscenities.

Once the protesters arrived on foot, many of them pulled out cellphones to record themselves angrily confront officers, including Police Chief Eric Clifford and Mayor Gary McCarthy.

The city put on the event for police to engage with the public, as suggested during the leadup to the city’s police reform and reinvention plan.

Members of the Fire Department, code enforcement, the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department, representatives of MVP Health Care and Trustco Bank, and new city schools superintendent Anibal Soler, Jr. also attended to answer questions from the public.

Police had said residents could file complaints during the event, and the BLM protesters leveraged the opportunity, demanding to know how to file one about what they said was the police’s “murder” of Andrew Kearse.

Kearse succumbed to heart failure after being apprehended by Schenectady police officers in May 2017, according to an autopsy.

The officer involved in the case, Mark Weekes, was the subject of a grand jury investigation because he drove Kearse to the police station after the arrest. Kearse was unconscious upon arrival at the station and never regained consciousness.

The grand jury declined to file charges against Weekes.

Foster had told a reporter on the day of the event they were upset about being arrested earlier this year for writing messages in washable chalk outside the Police Department during a BLM protest.

Foster claimed it was law enforcement’s attempt at trying to set precedent for protesters in Schenectady.

Foster also took issue with police and city officials not showing up to a back-to-school event by the Be A Leader youth group held earlier that day. 

The activists indicated on social media that they were turning themselves in Thursday morning.

It’s uncertain how the latest looming charges will impact the case against Foster for third-degree criminal tampering, a Class B misdemeanor, in connection with an April 13 protest outside the police station.

That charge had been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal on June 9, and Foster and a co-defendant’s records would have been sealed in December if they aren’t arrested over the next six months.

In that incident, Foster was involved in the protest that led to both damage and tampering with city property at 531 Liberty St. on April 13, police said.

The protest in Schenectady, as well as an Albany protest that started the next day, concerned the police shooting death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, in Minnesota.

During the protest and chalking incident, a glass panel on a door at the Schenectady station was broken.

Some of the chalk-written messages read: “We won’t forget,” “Stop killing us,” “Blood is on your hands,” and “Cops and klan are hand-in-hand.”

During a press conference after their arrests, Foster said, “If we are arresting peaceful protesters for putting washable chalk on a building meant to serve the community, then I don’t know what to say.”

As a result of that incident, police had put up temporary fencing around the Police Department. It was removed in June.

Clifford has said he is not against peaceful protests, but he said his preference is those who protest policing request to meet to discuss their grievances.

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Categories: News, Schenectady County

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Patriots-Chargers injury report: Devin McCourty not listed, 15 limited Wednesday

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50 Colo. Time dealers, Wells are auto fame inductees

Oct. 28—The Patriots listed 15 players on their initial practice report Wednesday — and that meant good news in New England.

Why?

Veteran safety Devin McCourty, who missed the second half of last Sunday’s game with an abdomen injury, was not listed. As a full participant in Wednesday’s padded practice, McCourty should be expected to play this weekend at the Chargers.

None of his teammates were absent Wednesday, including rookie corner Shaun Wade, who had missed the last three weeks with a concussion. Pats linebacker Dont’a Hightower has also recovered from the hurt elbow that contributed to him missing Sunday’s win over the Jets. He’s now only limited because of an ankle injury.

The Patriots’ complete injury report is below. The Chargers’ will be released later Wednesday evening.

Limited

C David Andrews (ankle)

LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (ribs)

WR Kendrick Bourne (shoulder)

DT Carl Davis (hand)

S Kyle Dugger (neck)

K Nick Folk (left knee)

DT Davon Godchaux (finger)

LB Dont’a Hightower (ankle)

LB Brandon King (thigh)

G Shaq Mason (abdomen)

TE Jonnu Smith (shoulder)

LB Josh Uche (shoulder)

LB Kyle Van Noy (groin)

CB Shaun Wade (concussion)

DE Deatrich Wise (knee)

(c)2021 the Boston Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Omar Kelly: Dolphins players say lack of veteran leadership contributes to skid

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Omar Kelly: Dolphins players say lack of veteran leadership contributes to skid

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Last year Ryan Fitzpatrick lost his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa, the rookie quarterback the Miami Dolphins wanted to build around.

Nevertheless, the savvy veteran was still called on in emergency game situations when clutch play was needed and retained his alpha male status in the locker room, which is why he was given the Leadership Award by his teammates at the end of the 2020 season.

Ereck Flowers taught Miami’s young offensive linemen how to be pros on and off the field, and former Dolphins center Ted Karras taught them how to study film and made proper in-game protection calls.

Former Dolphins safety Bobby McCain held the secondary together, making all the coverage checks and calls, keeping the unit on one accord.

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy made many of the front-line checks and got everyone in position. According to team sources, Van Noy also routinely challenged the coaching staff about troublesome game plans and in-game calls, keeping them accountable to the players.

If we’re doing a deep dive on what’s gone wrong this season with the Dolphins — attempting to explain how a 10-6 team in 2020 delivered a 1-6 start in 2021 — we have to bring up the purge of leaders that took place this offseason.

As a free agent, Fitzpatrick moved to Washington, where he was named the starter before injuring his hip in the season opener, and Tagovailoa has struggled to come out of his shadow as a leader, not player.

“He’s great, and he’s trying,” one Dolphins player said about Tagovailoa, who owns a 7-6 record as Miami’s starting quarterback heading into Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills (4-2). “But it’s not Fitz.”

Releasing Van Noy and McCain, trading away Flowers to move up 14 spots in the seventh round of the draft, and not re-signing Karras created cap space. But their departures left leadership voids on units that have struggled this season.

Miami’s linebacker unit has have been a mess, and Jaelan Phillips has struggled to replace Van Noy. The secondary constantly features breakdowns, although Jevon Holland has shown early promise as the starting free safety. The offensive line is on its third starting center and lacks a quality NFL starter like Flowers, who has started every game for Washington this season.

In a tough stretch like Miami’s six-game losing streak, leadership matters, because it is those veterans who are responsible for the heavy lifting when it comes to restoring morale and instilling fight and belief into the team.

Elandon Roberts, Jesse Davis and Clayton Fejedelem, who were all captains in 2020, and receiver Mack Hollins are doing their best to steer the Dolphins into less troubling waters.

But somehow, this team has lost its way.

“As a leader, you learn that it’s hard to motivate people. You’ve got to learn from each individual person what each individual person needs,” said Hollins, who was named an offensive captain this season.

“There are guys that need to get [yelled at]. There are guys who need to be brought over to the side. There are guys that you need to tell their best friend that [they] need to talk to them. Being able to maneuver that is something all leaders [must do]. You never complete that job. It’s never I know how to work with everybody, especially in this league because there are always people changing, there are always new teammates, there are always new players.”

And that’s part of the problem the Dolphins have had trying to build on 2020′s success.

Two weeks ago, the Dolphins held a players-only meeting to address what they felt were the team’s pressing issues.

There was talk about accountability, lack of effort and commitment, doing the extra things in practices and the team’s preparation, the need for more excitement and energy on the field.

Plenty of talk happened.

The problem is, it didn’t stop the bleeding, and sources say the solutions proposed — more energy, more accountability — weren’t going to fix anything, because it’s on-field execution that has been the issue.

“Are players who make mistakes getting benched?” a Dolphins defender asked. “Are they losing their roles? They pushed out the veterans for the young guys, and then wonder why we don’t look the same. It’s because mistakes keep getting made, and who is being held accountable?”

More importantly, who has this team been able to lean on for performances that back up the words of wisdom, or inspirational prep talk?

After all, words are better followed up with action.

“We’ve just got to take it one game, one play and one practice at a time. It’s no secret,” said Roberts, who will likely have more responsibility if Jerome Baker, the team’s leading tackler, is sidelined by the knee injury he suffered in last Sunday’s 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

“There’s no magical thing that you need to do as a captain or as a teammate. It’s nothing. You just got to come in every day with the work mentality to get it right, and that’s by taking it one practice at a time, taking it one play at time and taking it one game at a time.”

©2021 South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Visit sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Jets owner Woody Johnson still has confidence in Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh

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Jets owner Woody Johnson still has confidence in Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh

NEW YORK — Despite the Patriots’ 54-13 obliteration of the Jets in Week 7, Jets owner Woody Johnson still believes in the organization’s new infrastructure.

“I have unwavering, steadfast confidence in Joe [Douglas], Robert [Saleh] and the coaching staff,” Johnson said Tuesday. “I’ve been around for going on 22 years, with my little absence that I had recently, and this is a good group. So we will get it right.”

Johnson — who returned to helm his struggling football team earlier this year after four seasons away while serving as President Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom — spoke to the media at the start of the NFL owners’ meetings in Manhattan.

Johnson labeled the beatdown from their arch-rival last weekend “frustrating,” but said his focus has turned to the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) who crushed the Baltimore Ravens, 41-17, in Week 7 and are tied for the best record in the AFC. The Jets are 1-5 under Saleh, who was hired while Woody’s brother Christopher was still running Gang Green and is a first-time head coach. Douglas was hired in June 2019.

In the two seasons with Adam Gase as head coach the Jets started 1-8 (2019) and 0-13 (2020). But regardless of which Johnson is running the show, the Jets have been one of the worst-run franchises in the league and have the longest active playoff drought (10 seasons and counting).

The Jets’ latest embarrassing start is due to another inept offense and struggling defense. They rank in the bottom five in scoring offense and points allowed. Their offense hasn’t scored a point in the first quarter through six games.

But Johnson still believes in the direction of the long-term plan.

Why?

“Just talking to the leadership with Joe and Robert, talking to them and seeing how their plans are put together, how they’re deep thinkers,” Johnson said. “I think they want to do things like establish a culture and they’re getting the right players in the right positions.”

Johnson might have complete faith in this leadership team, but he might be one of the few.

Ex-Jets coach Rex Ryan — who led Gang Green to back-to-back conference title games at the start of his tenure with the team — blasted Saleh after the loss.

“A complete embarrassment for Robert Saleh and his coaching staff,” Ryan, now an ESPN analyst, said Monday on “Get Up!” “By the way, guys, here’s the scary thing — they’re coming off a bye, a bye! … There’s no passion.”

“You saw a team that knows what the hell they’re doing, the coaching staff with a rookie quarterback, the New England Patriots. That kid [Mac Jones] looks like a seasoned pro. You look at the other side, you’ve got a horrendous coaching staff with a quarterback [Zach Wilson] that looks 100 percent lost.”

There’s no question the shiny new toy hasn’t played well during his rookie year. The first-year quarterback has thrown for 1,168 yards with four touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing just 57% of his passes. It’s not all on the former BYU star, though. There have been offensive inconsistencies across the board from shaky offensive line play to an invisible running game to underperforming weapons.

And to add injury to insult, Wilson suffered a sprained PCL in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss in Foxborough that will likely sideline him between two to four weeks. But Johnson claimed he has zero concerns about the No. 2 overall pick.

“It’s a very young team with a young quarterback. He’s 22 years old. He just turned 22,” Johnson said. “So he’s seeing things for the first time. Like a lot of the young quarterbacks. It’s gonna take him a little bit of time but I have a lot of confidence in Zach, too.”

Wilson’s injury prompted the Jets to trade a conditional sixth-round pick to the Eagles for Joe Flacco on Monday because their only backup QB was Mike White, who saw his first NFL game action when Wilson went down on Sunday.

The Jets don’t look much different than how they did in 2020 — or for much of the last decade — but at least the boss seems to have an abundance of confidence in Wilson, Saleh and Douglas to get Gang Green in the right direction.

©2021 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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