Did police arrest the right man?

Jul 31, 2018

The Buffalo Common Council will be investigating the arrest of a black man seen in a video scuffling with a white security guard.

Credit worldstarhiphop.com / Facebook

The two men were apparently customers who got into an argument while waiting for their order at a Tim Horton's in the Liberty Building, in downtown Buffalo, July 19. Danielle Johnson chairs the Justice and Opportunity Coalition with Open Buffalo and she is also a member of the Buffalo Police Community Advisory council. Johnson says she's disappointed.  
"From what I saw in the video the white gentlemen struck first. But then the black gentlemen was arrested. And it just doesn't sit right. It doesn't," Johnson said.   

Common Council Majority Leader David Rivera heads up the Police Oversight Committee. Rivera, a former Buffalo Police Officer, points out that new Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood has been reaching out to the community.  
"He's having his monthly meetings, in the community, with the chiefs. He's having his CPOs go into the neighborhood. He's having police officers get out of the car and walk the beat and talk to the kids. We're seeing more of that. And I think that is a good thing that's happening. And then we have incidents like this create some tension once again. So we have to deal with this right away. I think the best thing to do with this is deal with it immediately to reduce any tension that may be out there," Rivera said.    

Common Council President Darius Pridgen says it's the council's responsibility to give citizens answers.

"The last thing I want to see in Buffalo, New York is what I've seen in other cities - in which people become so frustrated because they don't feel their city leaders are listening to them or are concerned about them. And that's on both sides. And so that's why I think it's always important not to sweep it under the rug let's look at it and see what happened. If the police could have done something different let's correct that," Pridgen said.     

Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo tells WBFO News that the incident is under review.