Comment from the Village Manager: Police Will Help Promote a Safe Vigil in Scarsdale

FloydA vigil for George Floyd is planned for Chase Park on Friday night June 5, 2020 at 6 pm. The organizers say, “Let us memorialize George Floyd and countless other victims of police brutality, including those in Westchester County. It is time to come together at a social distance and listen in the spirit of justice and solidarity. We encourage you to wear black and bring a sign. Please wear a face mask and stand six feet apart. The date is Friday June 5 at 6 pm at Chase Park and the rain date is Sunday, June 7, from 6-7:30pm.""

We wondered if the event had been sanctioned by the Village and if the protesters had a permit. Will extra police be in the area?

We asked Deputy Village Manager Rob Cole for a comment, and here is his response:

"For the protection of event participants and in the interest of successful events, all special events require a permit. With respect to any upcoming vigil, we are unable to approve any permit due to public gathering restrictions imposed by the State of New York. However, Governor Cuomo has also acknowledged that vigils have been conducted throughout the state, as well as nationally. In his acknowledgment, he emphasized the needs to maintain social distancing and wear a face covering, as COVID-19 remains a significant public health concern. Peaceful vigils have thus been provided for under the NYS guidance.

In view of the foregoing, we recognize that a local vigil may occur. As organizers of such events contact Village officials, we relate that we are unable to issue a permit, educate them on topics that are typically of concern in the permit review process, and let them know that we intend to provide police presence to help promote a safe and successful event. This approach is consistent with how many other Westchester communities are handling requests for vigils.

We are partners in listening to and supporting peaceful voices in opposing instances of excessive police force and are partners in pursuit of substantive progress in establishing Scarsdale as a Westchester community known for its continuous efforts to support diversity and inclusion. As a local government and caring community, we will work together to reaffirm our commitments in this regard and pursue even higher levels of achievement."