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Former Buffalo cop sentenced for using excessive force

A former Buffalo police lieutenant was sentenced to four months in prison Wednesday after his conviction on a federal civil rights charge. Gregory Kwiatkowski, 54, of Buffalo was working the overnight shift for the Buffalo Police Department on May 30, 2009, when he responded to a vehicle stopped by Cheektowaga Police on Treehaven Road in Buffalo. Four teenagers had been stopped on suspicion of drive-by BB gun shootings and were in compliance with the Cheektowaga officers when Kwiatkowski arrived. Kwiatkowski then proceeded to forcibly push each of the four suspects as they were being detained.

Kwiatkowski agreed in a plea deal before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny that the force was unreasonable and excessive and that he deprived the suspects of their Constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable seizure and to due process of law, by one acting under color of law.

Prosecutors say following Kwiatkowski’s use of force, he then recovered a BB gun from the vehicle in question and handed it to one of the other two Buffalo police officers, Raymond Krug and Joseph Wendel, who, by then, had arrived on the scene. Krug and Wendel, who were accused of shooting one of the individuals with the BB gun while that individual was handcuffed in the back seat of the police car, were acquitted following a trial. 

Kwiatkowski was also sentenced to one year supervised release, including four months of home detention.


Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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