A week after violence in Buffalo, passion and anger remain

Mayor Brown 'hopeful' following meeting with community groups

Tim Wenger
June 06, 2020 - 9:28 pm
Demonstrators in Niagara Square Saturday/WBEN Photo


Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - What a week it's been in Buffalo, N.Y.

Consider the fact that a week ago there was violence in the streets surrounding Niagara Square.  Within the past week three law enforcers were injured following a demonstration on Bailey Avenue when they were struck by an SUV and an elderly man was pushed to the sidewalk and left with a serious head injury as a result. And this weekend, two Buffalo police officers are charged with felony assault and on unpaid leave.

Buffalo is a national and international story and in the center of a movement calling for dramatic change in how police departments operate in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Yes, it's been quite a week.

There are some hopeful signs as we look toward a new week in Buffalo.

Mayor Byron Brown held a lengthy meeting with a half dozen community groups and organizations Saturday and discussed where to go from here. The Mayor and the community leaders discussed numerous initiatives that could help ease tensions in the community moving forward and we can expect some formal initiatives to be announced by the Mayor's administration and the groups in coming days.

One shift will likely be a wholesale transition of the Buffalo Police Department to a community policing agency. 

"My administration believes this as an opportunity for the Buffalo Police Department to reform and further progress into the Community Police Officer Model that Commissioner
Lockwood has been steadfastly implementing," said Brown in a statement Saturday. "I have directed the Commissioner to further engage the community, as I do the same, so that we can collaboratively and expeditiously realize our shared vision of a Police Department in which every officer is truly a community police officer, with the health, safety, and
welfare of our community at the forefront of every decision made by every officer."

Mayor Brown emerged from the meeting Saturday and is 'hopeful' for the progress made and that impactful changes can be achieved.

In the meantime, demonstrators still have their passion and much of their anger.  Protests have been noisy and disruptive, but peaceful in nature.

Again Saturday evening, hundreds of demonstrators made Niagara Square their home base, marching and speaking in the square on multiple occasions.  And twice demonstrators broke away from the square, marching through the streets of Allentown and the Elmwood neighborhoods.


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