The Buffalo Police Department’s Strike Force and Housing units are the vanguard of Mayor Byron Brown’s campaign against the scourge of guns, drugs and gangs in Buffalo. But the tactics used by officers in the two units have come under fire by members of both the public and the legal community.
A group of local organizations and individuals led by the local chapter of Black Lives Matter is suing the Buffalo Police Department in federal court, charging racial discrimination. The lawsuit is based upon two years of research by law students from the University at Buffalo and Cornell University showing statistical disparities in racial treatment.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda announced Tuesday morning that 124 people were arrested in a string of raids over a 28-day period. The effort to nab these suspects, said Derenda and others, were made possible through partnership among several law enforcement agencies as well as the community.
The old statement in political campaigns is, 'Let's look at the record.' At Thursday night's Buffalo mayoral debate, Incumbent Mayor Byron Brown liked his record and challengers Mark Schroeder and Betty Jean Grant did not.
Anonymous citizens have stepped forward and added $5,000 to the reward pool to help solve the January murder of Paul Byrd - in his car, in front of his Cornwall Avenue home in Buffalo's Grider-Delavan neighborhood.
Crime remains a big issue in Buffalo's mayoral campaign, with violence not going away. Wednesday night at the Merriweather Library, Mayoral Candidate and Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant held one of her town hall meetings - this time on body and dash cameras, red light cameras and police checkpoints.
Common Council President Darius Pridgen says the Buffalo Police Department is required to provide quarterly and yearly data about their checkpoints held around the city, but has not provided that data.
A Buffalo Police spokesman says an internal investigation is underway to address claims by the Buffalo Common Council President that while many of his guests were turned back from an Independence Day cookout, guests of his neighbors were not subject to similar scrutiny.
Right after his graduation from Buffalo's Math, Science, Technology Preparatory School at Seneca, Jequan Wilson posted the image of his high school diploma on Facebook. Hours later, he became another victim of Buffalo's street violence.
A relatively small group of people who attended a recent a public hearing on policing in Buffalo insisted there major problems that must be addressed. One after another, people who attended the Tuesday night forum told stories of problem encounters with police. Several retired officers agreed work is needed.
The protest group Just Resisting is demanding changes in the way Martin Luther King Park's casino is used. It is part of a larger fight for a smaller police force and more community input in city activities.
Family members of a man fatally shot by a Buffalo Police officer early last month joined community activists in Niagara Square Wednesday afternoon, demanding answers and justice as the investigation continues.
Last fall, Investigative Post exposed the subpar training Buffalo police receive in the use of force and firearms, the exact kind of training needed to prevent a Ferguson-type tragedy. Those concerns have grown in the wake of the deaths of two men of color, Wardel Davis in February and Jose Hernandez-Rossy last week, after encounters with police.
Investigative Post's Daniel Porat reports for WBFO
As is the case in most police departments, Buffalo's Internal Affairs unit reviews complaints against its officers. Beyond that, however, the type of independent oversight found in many communities is lacking in Buffalo. As Daniela Porat of Investigative Post outlines on WBFO's Press Pass, a citizens review commission has been rendered ineffective and city lawmakers appear to have little political appetite for the issue.
Daniela Porat of Investigative Post shares her reporting on the Buffalo Police Department during WBFO's Press Pass.