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New social justice group says more reform needed for Buffalo Police

Thomas O'Neil-White

Add the Coalition of Concerned Citizens to the ever-expanding list of social justice groups demanding justice and accountability from the Buffalo Police Department. 

Tuesday afternoon, in front of the office of State Senate Majority Leader Crystal People-Stokes, Coalition member Myles Carter voiced his displeasure with police brutality and the lack of local news coverage on the subject.

“Police brutality is alive in Buffalo,” he said. “Just as much as it’s alive in Baltimore. Just as much as it’s alive in Minneapolis. Our own media is failing us because it’s not highlighting the issues that exist right here.”

Carter specifically mentioned the case of Deyanna Davis, charged with multiple felonies stemming from an early-June incident during a protest on Bailey Avenue in which the vehicle she was driving allegedly plowed into a group of police officers, injuring three of them. Davis, who was shot twice in the incident, remains in the Erie County Holding Center after having been released from Erie County Medical Center. Carter himself, faces charges from the night in question.

Credit Thomas O'Neil-White
Coalition of Concerned Citizens member Myles Carter speaks during Tuesday's event.

Police accountability is the point at which Community Activist Dominique Calhoun started drawing up reform measures. For greater input, she reached out to residents and organizations from across the city.

“I went to different religious leaders,” she said. “Churches of different denominations. Actually a few police officers helped me with this reform. They have seen some things they felt like were corners that people were cutting, reasons they were arresting people for minor offenses.”

Calhoun said she has sent the list of reforms to the Mayor’s Office and members of Buffalo’s Common Council. She said she was told her the Concerned Citizens reforms will be discussed during Thursday’s meeting of the Police Advisory Committee.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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