To the Buffalo Common Council and Office of Mayor Byron Brown,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD]. I am imploring you to meaningfully restrict the Buffalo Police Department's $121.9 million dollar budget immediately. On June 5, Buffalo Police officers pushed a non-violent 75 year old man to the ground while he was exercising his first amendment rights. In case you have not seen the footage, it is linked below.
I am calling for these officers to be removed from service, effective immediately. I am calling for Mayor Brown and the Buffalo Common Council to have an emergency meeting regarding this matter. I am asking that an action plan for sustainable, long-term change is created and upheld.
Recreational programming for the elderly is budgeted at $1M, while the net budget for youth programs is $401K. Buffalo has the nation's fourth worst poverty rate for children, with almost one half of children in Buffalo living in poverty. The police were allocated 30,000% more funding than our city’s youth in the 2019-20 city budget.
In one of this country’s poorest cities, the majority of taxpayer dollars are funding a police department that has had 15 cases of alleged police brutality or excessive force since 2006. Of those 15 victims, 13 of them, or 86%, were people of color. An outline of these cases are included as a post-script to this email, alongside my sources.
This is unacceptable, and I am calling on the Buffalo Common Council, Buffalo Police Commissioner, and Mayor Byron Brown to reduce the Buffalo Police department's budget, and re-allocate police funding to invest in our community--as a start. Improving our educational system, local opportunities for economic growth, and programs that fight hunger and housing are proven to be more effective than police presence in improving community safety and wellness.
How will you show up for a city in desperate need of help? Spending $121.9 million dollars on the Buffalo Police is not the solution.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]
PS: Their names are Quentin Suttles. Wilson Morales. A former Erie County Sheriff's Deputy assaulted someone at a tailgate party and was found guilty of falsifying records. Pito Rivera. Devin Ford. Troy Hodge. Marcus Neal. Shaun Porter was brutally beaten while an inmate in handcuffs while officers Joshua Craig and Anthony D'Agostino watched and laughed. Shaun was given a $300,000 settlement by you, the Common Council. Four Black teenagers were assaulted by Gregory Kwaiatkowski and called "savage dogs." Kwaiatowski also choked David N. Mack in 2006. Kwaiatkowski was sentenced to four months in prison in 2018 for pleading guilty in December 2016 to a civil rights violation dating back to 2009. Timothy Stanton, Jr. Jose Hernandez-Rossy (at a traffic stop). Wardel "Meech" Davis, who died in police custody. National Air Guardsman William Sager who was handcuffed while unconscious and later died. John T. Willet, a Black man, was kicked and slapped while handcuffed on the ground by Buffalo Police officer John Cirulli, who was sentenced to a year of probation. Cirulli resigned and pleaded guilty to two federal misdemeanor civil rights violations earlier in 2014.