Mayor Byron Brown established the Strike Force and Housing units to address the scourge of gangs, drugs and guns in Buffalo. While few argue with the mission of these police units, the way they go about their job is raising alarm, with some defense attorneys characterizing Strike Force and Housing Unit officers as “vigilantes” with a “cowboy mentality.”

Investigative Post reviewed ten criminal court cases involving Strike Force and the Housing Unit in which judges tossed out evidence seized by officers on the grounds police had no reasonable justification to conduct the searches. In two of those instances, judges raised questions about the testimony of officers because of conflicting video evidence or its sheer implausibility.

While these cases represent only a fraction of arrests made by these units, defense attorneys said these incidents illustrate a wider pattern of misconduct by a group of Strike Force and Housing Unit officers.

You can read the full story on Investigative Post's website: http://www.investigativepost.org.