“The completely unwarranted use of force by police in front of Buffalo City Hall last night (this June 4th) is a call to action for our city and country.” – Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins
A Brief Comment from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by a Statement released this June 5th by Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman for the Buffalo area
Posted June 5th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
How disappointing and disturbing it was to flip to American news networks this June 4th and watch video of a 75 year old man being pushed to the ground, apparently by a Buffalo police officer wearing riot gear, and being left there on the ground, with blood running from his skull, while other officers marched by.
All of this unfolding before sunset outside of the front steps of the city’s grand old city hall.
The facts behind this awful incident are apparently still being gathered, but from what the world can see on this video which – unfortunately for Buffalo’s longstanding reputation as a “city of good neighbours” – has already gone viral, the man was not armed and may only have been holding his or someone else’s helmet.
The man, who was white, in this case, may have been participating in ongoing marches and rallies being held in Buffalo and other communities across the United States and Canada in response to the alleged murder late this past May of an African-American man named George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota police.
Officers in the Buffalo case have already been suspended without pay, with possible charges to come, and politicians from the city’s Mayor Byron Brown to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo have condemned what they have seen on the video, while as of this posting, the man reportedly remains in hospital in serious but stable condition.
Those of you who are already regular visitors to Niagara At Large may know that this news and commentary site has often had some good things to post about Buffalo and we are pleased to say that people in the Buffalo area count among our visitors.
I have said in the past that as big Americana cities go, Buffalo has long been a welcome and friendly one to visit, and the police have seemed fair and professional too. However, I have said that as a visitor who is white and relatively affluent, and who has spent most of my time visiting neighbourhoods of the city in and around Allentown, Elmwood Village, Hertel Avenue and the Delaware Park area.
So how do I really know? Obviously there are some serious problems that need to be addressed around the way policed are responding, not only to some of those who were involved in looting and other property damage in the city, earlier in the week, but to peaceful protesters.
Here is the Statement released this June 5th, 2020 by Buffalo area Congressman Brian Higgins –
A Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins –
“The completely unwarranted use of force by police in front of Buffalo City Hall last night is a call to action for our city and country.
“Videos are exposing unchecked bad actors and the painful truth of what has been happening in our communities for far too long.
“George Floyd’s murder has led to a nationwide outcry for change. This unacceptable incident right here in our community – and others across the country in the wake of this tragedy – shows how widespread and urgent of a change is needed.
“The House of Representatives will soon release a legislative package led by the Congressional Black Caucus addressing equal justice and police brutality. There is clearly much work to do. I am eager to work with my colleagues to advance these measures swiftly.”
Here is a video showing the incident in Buffalo that occurred sometime during the evening of June 4th . You can watch it by clicking on the screen blow –
Here is a WKBW-TV news report, featuring an interview with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, that aired early this June 5th –
Niagara At Large will have more on this story and related news around ongoing protests in the Buffalo area in the days to come. Stay Tuned.
NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.