The mayor of Poughkeepsie is applauding both protesters and police for their actions on Tuesday night.

Several thousand protesters marched through the streets of Poughkeepsie, joining activists across the country who have been demonstrating after the death of George Floyd. Throughout the city, 300 police officers from the region were stationed to control the crowd and keep the peace.

Mayor Rob Rollison said rumors of planned violence started early in the day but turned out to be false. In an interview with the Boris and Robyn Show on 101.5 WPDH, Rollison said that police responded to several reports about rocks and bricks being delivered throughout the city to be used to hurl at police and break windows. Those rumors turned out to be false. Other rumors of windows being smashed, police cars being burned and looting were also proven to be untrue.

On Wednesday morning, after WPDH ran reports about the peaceful protest, many on Facebook refused to believe the facts, insisting that there was some coverup going on.

Katie Bell wrote on Facebook that she did not believe media reports and insisted to see proof that there was no violence.  She wrote, "Until you prove to me that these were actual peaceful protests in Poughkeepsie — & not violent or looting RIOTS like we’ve seen all across the country — I simply can not rely simply on the words of a proven biased press."

The mayor said he was frustrated by the rumors and fearmongering. Rollison says that everyone should know just how professional the police acted and how hard the protest organizers worked to ensure that those in attendance practiced nonviolence. Rollison said that a very small "sliver" of people who attended the protest were there solely to provoke police, but were unsuccessful in doing so. The mayor challenged anyone who has any proof of violence or destruction of sending it to him. He also reiterated the message he shared with the community on Tuesday, stressing the importance of keeping a dialogue open and continuing to listen.

You can hear the mayor's full account of Tuesday's protest in this exclusive interview with The Boris and Robyn Show on 101.5 WPDH.

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