Published December 23, 2011
ALBANY, N.Y – Four "Occupy Albany" protesters were arrested during evening clashes with police as officers cleared the demonstrators' downtown encampment.
Albany Police removed tents and broke up the "Occupy Albany" camp in Academy Park on Thursday afternoon following a court order, FOX23 News reported.
Protesters responded by parading the final "Occupy Albany" tent around the city for hours, bringing it back to the park, then attempting to repeat the parade around the Albany, N.Y., streets for a second time.
Police moved in to block the group from taking the tent back on to the streets, sparking clashes between officers and the protesters.
Officers used pepper spray against protesters and several people were injured, including a television cameraman, who was hit in the back and taken from the scene in an ambulance.
"There was an officer, a mounted policeman on horse, literally riding through the crowd, just spraying, pepper spraying indiscriminately anybody who was in the crowd in front of him, it was completely flagrant," protester Bradley Russell told FOX23 News.
One protester was arrested in the afternoon and three were arrested during the evening clashes, police said.
"Two individuals were pepper sprayed when they became very aggressive towards officers," Albany Police spokesman Jimmy Miller said in a statement. "Two officers sustained minor injuries during the incident. Two protesters also sustained minor injuries."
"One television photographer sustained a back injury when he was struck in the lower back when filming," he continued. "It is trying to be determined if he was intentionally struck by one of the protesters or if it was accidental."
He added that the police department had gone "to great lengths" to accommodate the protest and said their actions Thursday "were based on a court order and were appropriate."