Police Advisory Board to Hold Virtual Town Hall on Policing in Light of Violent Incident with Buffalo Police

(image is video still from incident that occurred) 

The Town Hall will be a Discussion of Current Policing Practices & the Future of Policing in Buffalo 

On Wednesday May 20, 2020, The Buffalo Police Advisory Board (BPAB) will host a virtual town hall on policing in Buffalo. This will be a space for participants to share their feelings on current local police practices and events, as well as an opportunity to share ideas on what policing should look like in the future. 

The town hall will begin promptly at 7:30pm. Participants can gain access through this link and password, which may be found on the BPAB Facebook page as well. 

Town Hall Link: https://buffalo.zoom.us/j/99029234912?pwd=SlpqZzQ2ZzFCY3dTL2NjdUtHMkg4dz09  Password: PABMeeting 

The Buffalo Police Advisory Board (BPAB) first called on the Buffalo Police Department (BPD), as well as Buffalo Common Council, to fully investigate the incident that took place on May 10th where a young man was pulled over for what was said to be a traffic violation however Buffalo Police Officers were caught on video holding him  down  while repeatedly being hit in the face by one of the officers. The BPAB recommends that the Buffalo Police Department remove the involved officers from patrol while an investigation takes place.

The advisory board called for an investigation into the incident. The DA’s office said it has opened an investigation. The Buffalo Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit also is investigating. 

 The BPAB additionally calls on the BPD to further preventive policing practices by improving the Use of Force policy, de-escalation training, and transparency regarding these practices and policies. Specifically, the BPAB recommends that the BPD incorporate five additional components into department Use of Force Policy based on national best practice models and not currently included in BPD policy: 

•Require de-escalation prior to use of force, 

•Require a warning before shooting, 

•Require another present officer to intervene, 

•Mandate a comprehensive report of other police officers’ actions or arrests that included use of force  

•Ban chokeholds or strangle holds 

The BPAB has previously made recommendations to the Buffalo Common Council Police Over-sight Committee regarding the need for increased use of Community Policing practices.

Background:

The PAB is an independent advisory committee created by the Buffalo Common Council to focus on policing and community-police relations in the City of Buffalo. The PAB engages community residents and makes recommendations to the Common Council and Buffalo Police Department about how policing policy and community-police relationships can be improved. Over the past 3 years, the PAB has issued reports and testified to the Common Council on issues including the police body-worn camera policy, police officer performance evaluations, community policing, officer trainings, and the police union contract.