BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen posted a Facebook Live video early Wednesday morning to call attention to the treatment of guests attending a Fourth of July party at his condo near Canalside.
Pridgen says several of his guests were stopped by Buffalo Police and told to turn around. In his video, Pridgen says he notified police about his party earlier in the week. He also says guests attending other parties in the area were allowed through.
In the nearly 7:30 minute video, Pridgen says his son drove him to the corner where police were stopping cars and he witnessed his guests being turned around. Pridgen also says he became angry at the officers, and believes he would have gone to jail if he were not an elected official. The councilman, however, says he would have been willing to go to jail for standing up for what he believes is right. Near the end of the video, Pridgen says, "Canalside, the waterfront, cannot just be about one class, or group, or color of people."
"In the Buffalo Police Department we expect everybody to be treated equally," said Buffalo Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo.
"When accusations arise that that hasn't occurred, the Commissioner is quick to open an investigation and we will look into it. I know internal affairs will be speaking to the lieutenant in charge of that area, as well as the officers on those posts. If there's merit to it quick action will be taken," Rinaldo said.
Pridgen politely declined comment when WGRZ-TV went to his city hall office on Wednesday, other than to confirm that Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda contacted him that morning, and that he was "satisfied" with the course of their conversation.
Watch Councilman Pridgen's Facebook post below.