Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson marched with an overwhelmingly white group of protesters, when a man came out of his house yelling and cursing and ordering his wife to get his gun.
Kamal made a Facebook video to describe the experience because he wanted to tell it directly, and not through a reporter. This is a somewhat condensed but I think accurate version of what he said. You can hear it for yourself at the above link.
“I want to give a shoutout to the people of Kinderhook. A lot of people treated us well. Some people came out with their signs and sat in their yards. There was one woman who brought everyone sodas and water. The protesters started hugging her and clapping for her. There was a ton of love in Kinderhook today. And I was proud to be a part of the march.
“At the tail end, a gentleman came out of his house, trying to rile everyone up. He threw out a ton of bad language. I couldn’t much of what he was saying, because everybody was chanting so loud. A few people stopped to look at him and he just continued to yell. Everybody started pushing everybody along saying things like ‘Ignore him. Ignore him. Keep it going. Keep it going.’ He yelled to his wife. Go get my gun, and she ran inside.
“There were officers at the front of the march and at the back. She came out with the gun, started waving it around and gave it to him. The officer at the back got out of his car to see what was happening. When the man saw that there was an officer there, he ran inside. The officer followed him and came out 3 or 4 minutes later holding the gun, fully extended, carrying it like it was an insect.
“I approached the officer and asked him what was going to happen and if the gun was legal. He said he had no idea. I said so why are you out here talking to us and he’s still inside?
“A family from across the street came out and said he was an alcoholic and had more guns inside. So I asked again and the officer said he had to do an investigation.
“Other officers asked the protesters for statements, but were still not going inside. I said ‘Are you not concerned with the safety of everyone out here.’ The officer replied ‘If you are concerned with everyone’s safety, walk down the road.;
“Finally, they go inside and bring the couple out. I say to an officer, I notice that they weren’t read their rights and they aren’t in handcuffs. Why is that? He was waving his gun at a crowd. The officer didn’t answer me, and he didn’t answer other people either.
“They just put the couple in the car and drove them away. Which was extremely disappointing, not to see them at least be put in handcuffs. A crime was committed. He was menacing, at least. But people want you to prove that you didn’t deserve to have a gun pulled on you for peacefully protesting. People are saying well, let’s hear the full story.
“There were 65-year-old women walking out there. And little kids. Did they deserve to have a gun pulled on them? It was completely peaceful.
“I don’t want this to be a reflection on Kinderhook, because they treated us great, and the organizers of the event did a good job. It was a good protest. A lot of young people came out. It’s sad that it had to be ruined by this guy who clearly wanted to incite violence and got a chauffeur to give him a ride to the police station. But I’m glad everybody made it home safe. I don’t regret going out there to join them.
“It’s crazy, all the stuff going on in our county. People getting beaten by other people and no charges are brought. People waving guns at a crowd of peaceful protesters.
“Can you imagine if I pulled a gun on people protesting in front of my house? I’d be arrested and all over the newspapers. The fact that I have to defend myself and everyone else who didn’t deserve to have a gun pulled on us is insane.
“These are the reasons for these protests.”