Buffalo Officials Respond To Criticism of BPS Searches, Checkpoints

Tough questions for members of the Buffalo Police Oversight Committee about police tactics that some say go too far.

BUFFALO - Buffalo, NY- Members of the Common Council’s Police Oversight Committee said on Tuesday that they have received data on the controversial police traffic checkpoints and said they hope to make the data public at an undetermined time in the future.

“We have moved I believe in a positive direction,” said Council President Darius Pridgen.

The meeting, however, was disrupted by protesters chanting “checkpoints are criminalizing poverty.” A  study completed by the University of Buffalo and Cornell law schools contend that these checkpoints are part of a broader practice of unconstitutional and racially discriminatory policing in the city.

These are not the only practices described as unconstitutional. A report published by Investigative Post last week looked at ten cases in which judges tossed out evidence because the searches and seizures were ruled illegal. In two of those cases, judges sided against officers’ testimony about how the searches and arrests unfolded.

Pridgen declined to answer questions about that story.

Niagara District Council Member David Rivera said that “it’s always a concern where evidence is being suppressed.”  But he will leave it up to police and the new citizen advisory committee to the police oversight body, to address these issues.

Rivera said that the new advisory committee, which will be created in partnership with a local criminal justice organization, will allow citizens to engage more directly with council members and law enforcement on policing issues.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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