TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Protesters took to the streets in Troy on Wednesday following an officer-involved shooting.
“He was running from parole, but that doesn’t give anybody the right to shoot him,” Messiah Cooper said.
Cooper took the lead in the march after his nephew was the victim of an officer involved shooting in Troy Tuesday night.
“We don’t matter. Like I said, we really don’t matter until they see that we do.”
Cooper and more than 100 others took their concerns straight to city hall.
“They shot the kid in his hand and grazed his head. They didn’t find a gun. Why?”
Demanding an audience with Mayor Patrick Madden, he eventually met with Cooper and others.
Mayor Madden says he is not concerned with how people are responding to the officer-involved shooting.
“I think people are voicing their concerns and they have the right to do this and we’re happy to allow them to do it,” Mayor Madden said.
Meanwhile, the protesters outside say this is about more than just the recent shooting.
“If you don’t have a relationship with the people in the community, you cannot police the community.”
“We’re all out here for different issue; it doesn’t matter what color you are”
Protesters pointed to the lack of youth activities and are asking for the restructuring of the Troy Police Department.
“Retrain the police force. Not all cops are bad but there are a lot of cops that are bad.”
Mayor Madden and Cooper emerged from their discussion with renewed hope.
“I thought we had a very fruitful discussion. There was nothing we disagreed on,” Mayor Madden said.
“So we’re going to give them time to work and see where we go from there and hold them accountable if need be,” Cooper said.
People at the protest say there is still a long way to go as far as community relations with the police.
Mayor Madden says he plans to keep an open dialogue with the rest of the McDonald family as the investigation moves forward.