An online petition calling on Mayor Byron Brown to resign has been launched by a group of residents for what they call his “Failure to protect Black and Brown communities…” who have endured “violence and brutality at the hands of the police both during the Buffalo uprising and over his tenure as mayor” over the past 15 years.
The group is also demanding justice for former BPD police officer Cariol Horne, a local heroine who stopped a fellow officer from chocking an African American man and was fired from the force as a result.
They released the following statement:
“Buffalo has captured the nation’s attention over the past couple of weeks. Our city is in the spotlight as we fight police brutality, with protestors experiencing callous, aggressive, militarized responses to our righteous calls for a transformed system, one that explicitly acknowledges and addresses racism, and envisions a just community that actively works to address oppression and inequity.
“This past week, Mayor Byron W. Brown held a press conference unveiling supposed police reforms, which amounted to weak restatements of what we already have on the books. He also announced an in-the-works “Unity Walk,” along with Council President Darius G. Pridgen and Masten District Council Member Ulysses S. Wingo, featuring Buffalo Bills players and the Buffalo Police Department’s “Singing Cops,” at a time when the nation is still reeling from the horror of a police response that included curfews, rubber bullets, tear gas, helicopters, armored vehicles, a protestor tackled from behind while talking to the media and then maligned by the mayor as a “major agitator,” and a 75 year-old Catholic Worker protester shoved to the ground by a riot squad, resulting in a fractured skull and a brain bleed. This news has made international headlines.
“Buffalo needs a mayor with vision and true leadership capacity. Buffalo needs a mayor who will do more than hold a press conference. Buffalo needs a mayor who will step off the fence, who will stop defending and protecting the status quo and his own political career. Simply put, Buffalo needs a mayor who will take risks in order to truly protect Black and Brown communities.
“Byron Brown has been in office for 15 years. In that time, he has not pursued accountability or justice for the people brutalized or murdered by the Buffalo Police Department. He has never publicly stated that the obstacle to changes in policing policies, protocols, and procedures in the Buffalo Police Department are due to the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) up until now, conveniently, when he is — finally — being held accountable for the violence and brutality endured at the hands of the police both during the Buffalo uprising and over his tenure as mayor.
“He also denies that he can do anything to demand justice for former BPD police officer Cariol Horne, who was fired after she stopped Officer Gregory Kwiatkowski from choking a suspect. Byron Brown is in his 4th term of office. If he cannot figure out a way to restore Cariol’s pension and enact Cariol’s Law after 15 years in office, we do not have any confidence that he can undertake and implement the much more complex and significant changes required to overhaul the system of law enforcement in the City of Buffalo. We do not believe Byron Brown can take on negotiations with the police union, nor do we believe that he is truly willing to do this work. We refuse to rubber-stamp reforms that will result in the continued pain and suffering of Black and Brown people in Buffalo.
“Mayor Byron W. Brown must resign, immediately. Link to the online petition to call for the resignation of Mayor Byron W. Brown, which has garnered the support of over 2,000 City of Buffalo residents can be accessed at this link : www.change.org/p/residents-of-buffalo-new-york-call-for-mayor-byron-brown-to-resign. “