BUFFALO, NY — The New York State Attorney General's Office has launched two investigations into the Buffalo Police Department.
The first investigation is related to a story 2 On Your Side did in July about how some residents have accused the Buffalo Police of holding more checkpoints in minority neighborhoods. The other investigation relates to policing inside public housing developments.
According to a copy of the letter Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent the City of Buffalo, the group Black Lives Matter—Buffalo alleges that the Buffalo Police Department, "has engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional policing that disproportionately affects people of color. Among other allegations, the report alleges that the BPD has a practice of conducting unconstitutional vehicle checkpoints and unconstitutional, suspicionless trespass enforcement in and around Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority buildings."
Buffalo Police spokesman Michael DeGeorge released the following statement about the investigation.
As we said before the complaint was filed, any allegation of discrimination is completely false. Since that complaint is currently being litigated, any further comment on this matter would be inappropriate at this time.
Black Lives Matter—Buffalo said it "welcomes" the Attorney General's investigation in a statement to 2 On Your Side.
We welcome's the decision of the AG to open an investigation into the Buffalo Police Department in Response to our Complaint. The BPD's top-down discriminatory and illegal policing tactics have gone on with impunity for too long.
Parker MacKay, one of the attorneys who filed the complaint, told 2 On Your Side that he thinks it's good people have started talking about some of the policing practices.
"This isn't a blanket, anti-police movement. We focused our complaint on specific and limited and documented instances and practices, and I think we've achieved a lot just being able to start the conversation and involve members of society that weren't really having this discussion before. I think we'll leave it in the Attorney General's hands to see what they conclude as part of their investigation," MacKay said.
The BPD has until Dec. 20 to give the AG's office the information it requested.