There were two rallies on Saturday, December 12th, 2020 outside of the Cortland County Jail building. The two groups that held rallies were, "United Voices of Cortland” and “Back the Blue of Cortland New York”.
According to the United Voices of Cortland Facebook page these were their demands as they rallied outside of the Cortland County Jail:
- Immediately release:
- the elderly and those at risk for COVID-19
- remand prisoners (those who are denied or unable to post bail)
- those in jail due to parole violations
- those with mental illnesses and addictions
- unhoused people (and provide them with resources to improve their circumstances)
- Provide adequate PPE to everyone in the jail
- Reinstate the bail reform that was rolled back in July
- Eliminate all forms of cash bail for nonviolent crimes
- Require prosecutors to turn over to defendants all evidence against them within 15 days of arrest
- Withdraw all 10 legislative proposals submitted by the New York State Sheriff’s Association in July
- Defund the Sheriff’s Office by 50% and redistribute the funds to community services selected by a community council that is run by local organizations.
According to the Back the Blue of Cortland New York Facebook page, the group rallied to "show support and appreciation to Cortland’s first responders."
To be fully transparent, I (Timothy A. Bennett) am the owner and publisher of the Cortland Voice. I am also the son of a deceased officer who served for 25 years. I personally funded the “Black Lives Matter” mural on the corner of Court St and Main St in Cortland (separate from my role with the Cortland Voice, separate from my board of director positions with both SUNY Cortland’s Alumni Association and the Cortland Downtown Partnership, and separate from my role as a licensee of FunFlicks Indoor and Outdoor Movies). I funded the project, because I wanted to raise awareness of unequal treatment of people of color.