In the Greater Olean area, protests over the death of George Floyd took place without the violence that has marred protests in major cities across the nation.

Police officers in Cuba joined community members who walked through the village on Tuesday to show support for the community, the state and the nation.

“This message applies well to our nation today as we are seeing the outcome of anger and unrest dividing people and resulting in violence,” the Cuba Police Department posted on its Facebook page. “Members of the Cuba Police Department gladly joined them to ensure that they were safe as they marched in their mission of peace, love, diversity and inclusion.”

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In Olean, police issued a statement of appreciation to individuals who took part in a demonstration Lincoln Park Sunday.

“The City of Olean city police wish to recognize and thank those in attendance at yesterday’s protest for maintaining peace while exercising their right to demonstrate against the tragic events involving the death of George Floyd while in police custody,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “We want to assure the citizens that our police department receives regular training on all manners of police/citizen interaction and all of our policies, including how and when we respond to resistance. The Olean Police Department is committed to sustaining the trust and cooperation we have worked so hard to develop within the community.”

Olean Mayor William J. Aiello issued a press release thanking the city’s police, fire and public works departments, as well the organizers and participants of the protest.

“I was very pleased with the outcome of the event; a large group of residents was able to peacefully protest the injustice of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis without the accompanying violence that we have witnessed throughout the nation,” Aiello said.  “I commend the protesters for keeping the focus of the event on the death of Mr. Floyd.”

Aiello also expressed thanks for assistance from the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department, New York State Police and the Allegany Police Department.

“I have always said that Olean is a great place to live,” he said. “Like any municipality across the nation we have problems, but Olean is very unique in that we genuinely care about each other’s well-being. We have seen it throughout the past three months as we struggled with the effects of COVID-19, and we saw it last night when altercations that could have escalated, were quickly and quietly resolved.

“Peaceful protests are one of the cornerstones of our republic, and I am pleased that Olean residents were able to express their opinions in a safe environment and with respect for public and personal property,” he said.

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