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Buffalo Police suspends officer recorded verbally harassing woman

An internal investigation was ordered just hours after a video of the incident was posted on Facebook showing an officer using explicit language toward a woman.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Police Department has ordered an internal affairs investigation after an officer was recorded on video verbally harassing a woman. As of Monday evening, Buffalo Police Lt. Michael DeLong has been suspended without pay, according to our nonprofit partners at Investigative Post.

The incident was posted on Facebook on Monday afternoon. Two On Your Side has not spoken with the person who posted the video. You can watch in the video player below. WARNING: Explicit language can be heard. 

Wheeew child, the Buffalo PD are a bunch of scum. Watch this officer call me a Cunt 🙃. Yesterday, I was pulling out of 7/11 parking lot and saw police cars rolling in. I started recording bc I saw a 5 cops walking towards the man in the video, the blonde female cop was walking towards him with a Baton in her hand and the male cop who was physically harassing me yelled at us to “get the fuck out of here” bc we where driving out of the parking lot slow. I was no where near them. I was immediately concerned. I’ve lived on the west side of buffalo for my whole life (pre-gentrification), I’ve seen people in my community battle substance abuse and mental illness. He seemed off, but I was not threatened by him in the slightest. They tried to say he had a weight in his hand, this man had no weapon in his hand. They made him so “dangerous” but people where going in and out of 7-11 inches away from him, he was fully cooperative. I never went near him, all I did was record from the side walk and tell the man he doesn’t have to talk to them about 3 times, bc of that I had 3 officers bully me. I wish someone was recording them harassing me. The cop in the video literally walked up on me and physically and verbally harassed me by shoving his whole body against me, breathing on me, calling me out of my name, and making sexist remarks. I kept trying move away from but he kept coming after me. He was overtly intimidating me and trying to provoke me. None of the 9 other cops stopped this man from physically harassing me. I’m so small and not intimidating in the slightest but they acted like was such a threat. Who’s training these people? Why is acceptable for them to degrade me? Armed police officers should be able to effectively do their job with out being threatened by civilians recording them. P.S. when I said it doesn’t matter or that I don’t care if he is out of his mind, it not that don’t care about his pain or that supposedly committed a crime. I said that bc the police officer was trying to incriminate the man to justify their actions. It 👏🏾does 👏🏾not👏🏾matter👏🏾what👏🏾his👏🏾crime👏🏾was👏🏾.

Posted by Ruweyda Ahmed Salim on Monday, June 29, 2020

WEB EXTRA: Our nonprofit partners at Investigative Post are also reporting on this story.

The incident apparently took place Sunday, outside the 7-Eleven convenience store at Connecticut Street and Prospect Avenue. The video is apparently shot and posted by a woman named Ruweyda Salim.

In the video, officers can be seen talking to and searching a man who appears disoriented. About a minute into the video, one of the officers in a white shirt approaches Salim, who is holding the phone and recording the entire police encounter.

DeLong walks right up next to the woman. He is easily within six-feet of the woman and is not wearing a mask. When Salim tells him he is too close, he responds, "Move me."

When DeLonng's efforts fail to get Salim to leave the scene, that's when the officer curses at her.

The interaction between the two continues for a few minutes more. The officer questions Salim about her job and suggests that he may come to visit her at work.

You can hear Salim asking repeatedly why so many officers are present to deal with one disorderly man. At the end of the posted video, it appears the man is directed to an ambulance. 

Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo tells 2 On Your Side that he spoke with Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood after he saw the video, and an investigation was ordered. DeLong has since been suspended.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown released the following statement: Monday night

"As soon as Commissioner Lockwood became aware of the incident, he immediately opened an investigation and suspended the officer involved. I fully support the commissioner's swift actions. There is no place for that type of reprehensible conduct in the Buffalo Police Department and it will not be tolerated.” 

This is a developing story. Two On Your Side will update this article as more information becomes available. 

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