Disband, Investigate, Imprison: The Terrifying History of Buffalo’s Bad Cops

WELCOME TO NEW YORK No fewer than four men of color have died as the result of encounters with Buffalo police in the past three years. Then a 75-year-old got knocked down.


In Buffalo, some of the problem might well be a mob mayor…a city run by the Gambino family…with their own private police force

This story was published in partnership with Investigative Post, a non-profit investigative reporting center in Buffalo, New York.

It’s the shove seen round the world: two Buffalo cops push a demonstrator who falls, slams his head on the pavement, and immediately begins to bleed from the ears.

City officials wasted no time in suspending the two officers seen on the video shoving the demonstrator, who, it turns out, is 75 years old and fighting cancer.

Suffice to say, this is not a good look for the police.

But never ones to back down—Buffalo cops can be a belligerent bunch—they responded by organizing a mass resignation of the 57 officers from the team designated to deal with protests and other large crowds. They are keeping their jobs, but giving up their assignments on what is considered an elite response team. Rank and file are said to be disgruntled, as well.

John Evans, president of the Police Benevolent Association, emailed his membership and characterized the suspensions this way: “They tried to fuck over these guys like I have never seen in my 54 years.”

As shocking as this all may be to outsiders, the shoving of demonstrator Martin Gugino and the defiant response of officers to an effort to discipline two of their own is indicative of the state of police affairs in Buffalo. Has been for a long time, not that you have to go back too far to find other episodes of brutality that have been captured on video.

On Monday, a line of Buffalo police charged demonstrators, including one attacked from behind as he calmly stood for an interview with a local television station. He wound up spending the night in jail.  read more…


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