“We believe we serve a God that can hear our cry and there’s going to be justice (for The Buffalo5) -Bishop Michael A. Badger
Pictured above from left: Van Lipscomb, Bishop Darius Pridgen, Pastor Tim Newkirk, Bishop Michael A Badger, Darryl Boyd, John Walker, Bishop Frederick A. Gelsey and Elder Charley H. Fisher III
The airwaves on Legendary Mix 1080 and Power 96.5FM were filled with powerful prayers and words of encouragement during a spirited prayer vigil for the Buffalo 5 on Monday evening.
It was an impressive show of community and organizational support by a host of churches as well as the NAACP, The Urban Think Tank, Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, WNY Peace Center and of course, We Are Women Warriors, who have been in the forefront of the movement to seek justice for the Buffalo 5.
The vigil was organized in support of The Buffalo 5’s scheduled return to New York State Supreme Court at 2p.m. on Tuesday, February 16. NYS Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns will be presiding. That hearing was initially scheduled to be held this week.
John Walker looked at the postponement as a positive turn of events.
“It’s keeping hope alive,” he said, giving them more time to rally on behalf of their cause.
The vigil, led by five conscientious community minded clergy members, also gave listeners a chance to hear the story of five 16-year-od Black boys who were falsely accused in 1976 and wrongly convicted in 1977 of a brutal crime they did not commit.
Over the past 45 years, John Walker and Darryl Boyd have consistently proclaimed their innocence of the robbery and murder,
“They never had any evidence from the beginning,” said John. “No blood sample, no weapon, never recovered any money, never had anything that connected us to the case aside from our friend, Tyrone Woodruff, who was pressured and tricked into making a false confession by detectives, placing the blame on us. ( Woodroff retracted the “confession” on a number of occasions )
“There was actually nothing to ever connect us to the case,” John continued. “So when there’s nothing to connect you to the case, it becomes kind of difficult to find something later on down the line to overturn the case because there was nothing to convict you with!”
They are presently being represented in court by renown criminal defense attorney Paul Cambria of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP. Mr. Cambria has filed a Motion To Overturn Judgment Of Indictment 41-413, on The Buffalo 5’s behalf. It is the hope and prayer of The Buffalo 5, that photographic evidence that existed at time of their (original) 1977 trials, and that will now be presented in their matter, will be ruled as “New Evidence”.
If that occurs, the Buffalo 5’s indictments and convictions will be overturned and they will be exonerated. This may be the single best and last chance The Buffalo 5 receive, to attempt to accomplish that objective.
The Buffalo 5 wishes to thank the five esteemed clergy who participated in and led Prayer Vigil 2021: Bishop Frederick A. Gelsey, Sr., Elder Charley H. Fisher, III, Bishop Michael A. Badger, Pastor Tim Newkirk, and Bishop Darius G. Pridgen.
The Buffalo 5 also thank the community throughout Buffalo and Erie County, for its steadfast support over the past four decades. Justice For The Buffalo 5!
-By Sherry Sherrill ( The Challenger Contributed to this Article )