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New year, same call for an independent City of Buffalo Police Oversight Committee

PPG Rollout 2022

Creating an independent police oversight committee in the City of Buffalo was first recommended by the Buffalo Police Advisory Board in the spring of 2020 before protests broke out after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

One month into 2022 the topic is still being discussed by those would like to see more accountability from law enforcement.

Gio Hernandez
Partnership for the Public Good Buffalo
Free the People member Gio Hernandez

Free the People Western New York member Gio Hernandez supports a model establishing two independent civilian bodies to review and investigate incidents involving the BPD and create reform where necessary, one of which is eliminating taxpayer money used to pay settlements against the police department.

“Since 2015 alone we've put $11.9 million in settlements if you can just think about what those almost $12 million can go towards with the various amount of needs that we have across our region,” she said.

Calls for an independent oversight model have even come from New York Attorney General Letitia James who wrote a letter to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown last April voicing her concerns about conduct within the police department.

Buffalo Common Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt, Oct 5, 2021
Michael Mroziak, WBFO
Buffalo Common Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt speaks outside City Hall Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, following a meeting during which the Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution supporting New York State's proposed Clean Slate legislation.

University District Councilman Rasheed Wyatt has gone as far as to put forth a resolution on the matter to the Common Council.

“This independent review board has been talked about by the State AG and she has said very clearly, as well as the previous governor, that we need police reform and we need an independent body and we should not have police policing police,” he said.

Hernandez are demanding a democratic process wherein the community helps to redefine what community safety looks like moving forward.

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