News U Can Use

State AG says Buffalo can establish a civilian review board

Deidre Williams

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“Buffalo can take steps now to establish a civilian review board to investigate allegations of police misconduct, according to the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Such a board should hold final disciplinary authority over officers and subpoena power, and it should have a substantial budget and a qualified professional staff to carry out its duties, according to a letter from the office’s Civil Rights Bureau to Mayor Byron W. Brown.”

Sheriff’s candidate: Party chairman said she’s ‘not what a sheriff looks like’

Sandra Tan

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“Kimberly L. Beaty has more than 30 years in law enforcement and believes she has credentials to make a strong push for the Erie County sheriff’s seat as former deputy commissioner for the Buffalo Police Department. But according to her recount of conversations with the Erie County Democratic Party chairman, there was one thing Beaty didn’t have. The right look. ‘He said, “You’re not what a sheriff looks like, and what people are used to,” ‘ she recalled.”

Buffalo’s school zone speed cameras are on a path to being removed

Deidre Williams

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“Six out of nine city lawmakers voted Tuesday to get rid of Buffalo’s school zone speed cameras by September, but it is not a done deal. Their patience is running out.…According to the City Charter, Mayor Byron W. Brown has 10 days to sign the legislation or veto it. If he vetoes it, the legislation goes back to the Council, which then has 30 days to vote to override the veto. If Brown does not act then, the legislation becomes law.”

Brown calls for a more focused citizens’ rights commission to improve policing

Deidre Williams

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“The report calls for the city’s Commission on Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations to undergo a community planning process with residents from all neighborhoods to improve interactions with the police. The plan also calls on the commission to provide a survey on its website for residents to complete any time they interact with police officers.”

New Buffalo program seeks to replace dilapidated houses with new homes

Deidre Williams

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“Buffalo kicked off a pilot program Tuesday with the demolition of a dilapidated house in the Hamlin Park neighborhood to make way for a new house to be built within 12 months…The program seeks to replace vacant, blighted structures with affordable houses for new homeowners. The city’s Division of Real Estate identifies a community housing partner for construction of a new home within 12 months from the date of demolition.”

State sues Sheriff Howard over handling of sexual misconduct allegations in county jails

Matthew Spina

Read the full story from The Buffalo News here.

“‘The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has an abysmal track record of complying with the requirement to notify the commission of incidents that jeopardize the safety and well-being of individuals in custody, facility staff and the community,’ Commission of Correction Chairman Allen Riley said in the written statement.

Probe faults mayor, former police chief for keeping Prude death secret

The Associated Press

Read the full article from NBCBLK here.

“An investigation into the official response to Daniel Prude’s police suffocation death last year in Rochester, New York, is faulting the city’s mayor and former police chief for keeping critical details of the case secret for months and lying to the public about what they knew. The report, commissioned by Rochester’s city council and made public Friday, said Mayor Lovely Warren lied at a September press conference when she said it wasn’t until August that she learned officers had physically restrained Prude during the March 23, 2020, arrest that led to his death.”

Black Lives Matter backs Amazon union push in Alabama

Joseph Pisani

Read the full article from AP News here.

“‘Black workers have historically been the backbone of this country, its institutions, and innovations,’ said Patrisse Cullors, the executive director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, in a statement. ‘Therefore, it is fully within our rights and dignity that we be treated and compensated fairly. Just as we have the right to live, we also have the right to work.'”

Racial disparities plague vaccine rollout in WNY and across U.S.

Caitlin Dewey

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“In New York, white residents have received a disproportionate share of vaccines in each of the state’s 10 regions and in all five counties of Western New York. That disparity is especially dramatic in Erie County: While white residents make up just over 81% of the population, they account for almost 91% of the newly vaccinated. Black residents, on the other hand, represent 5.7% of all vaccinated people (compared to 13.1% of the population), while Asian residents make up 2.5% of those vaccinated (3.6% of the population) and Hispanic residents make up 2.2% (4.5% of the population).”

Fruit Belt housing project delayed to allow community talks

Jonathan D. Epstein

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“The nonprofit developers proposing 50 units of affordable housing in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood asked the Buffalo Planning Board to delay consideration of the project for another month, as they reach out to the community to resolve concerns and resistance. Dunkirk-based Southern Tier Environments for Living and the Fruit Belt Community Land Trust want to construct a 33-unit apartment building at 326 High St., at the corner of Peach Street, along with five three-bedroom duplexes, one two-bedroom duplex and five single-family homes on scattered sites.”

Daniel Prude’s Death Leads to No Charges for Police

Sarah Maslin Nir

Read the full article from The New York Times  here.

“‘The criminal justice system has demonstrated an unwillingness to hold law enforcement officers accountable in the unjustified killing of unarmed African-Americans,’ [Attorney General] James said, her voice growing emotional at a news conference at Aenon Missionary Baptist Church in Rochester. ‘What binds these cases is the tragic loss of life in circumstances in which the death could be avoided.'”

Black Lives Matter movement nominated for Nobel peace prize

Martin Belam

Read the full article from The Guardian here.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel peace prize for the way its call for systemic change has spread around the world. In his nomination papers, the Norwegian MP Petter Eide said the movement had forced countries outside the US to grapple with racism within their own societies. ‘I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality,’ Eide said. ‘Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice.’”

Cuomo: Black hospital workers shunning vaccine at greater rate than whites, Latinos

Jay Tokasz

Read the full article from Buffalo News here.

“The governor said there’s ‘understandable’ cynicism and distrust of the health care system in the Black community because of previous injustices. But the governor said such distrust isn’t justified when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccine. He said he has been calling pastors and other leaders in African American communities around the state about it, and the state plans to roll out an advertising campaign aimed at building trust in the vaccine among Black New Yorkers.”

Rochester Police Pepper-Sprayed 9-Year-Old Girl, Footage Shows

Nicole Hong

Read the full article from The New York Times here.

“The police department in Rochester, N.Y., released body-camera footage on Sunday that showed a 9-year-old girl being handcuffed and pepper-sprayed by police officers who had responded to a family disturbance call. During the incident, which occurred Friday afternoon, officers restrained the girl, pushing her into the snow in order to handcuff her, while she screamed repeatedly for her father, the footage showed. At one point, an officer said, ‘You’re acting like a child.’ She responded, ‘I am a child.'”