The irony of publicity about the incident involving four area residents and South DistrictPolice Lt. Michael Schuta is that there have been reports of similar incidents in South Buffalo as well as the inner city.
Unfortunately, little is done to properly correct violations of civil and human rights. We need to stop playing with this ticking bomb of police brutality and misconduct while we debate whether crime is the problem.
Many African-Americans have complained of rogue cops carrying out vigilante justice on whom they feel so inclined to. There is too much acceptance of "citizen wrong, rogue cop right."
Not all officers are corrupt. But we must question the use of deadly force and policies thatallow rogue cops to stay on the force.
Historically, racism and hate crimes have been fashioned into the very fabric of law enforcement. The police cannot police themselves, and we need not think they can. We must become involved with the policing of our city and our communities.
The stories we hear of police brutality and misconduct are not figments of the victims' imagination. Yes, police officers drink. They do drugs. They abuse their children and wives and commit crimes just like other people. Sometimes they even kill. Police brutality and misconduct is indeed real. Confidence is a two-way street. We need true community policing and equality of justice at all levels.
We must have a union contract that is sound, equitable and safe for all residents. Rogue cops must be terminated and financially penalized for abuse and perjury. And any co-workers who participate, utilize the "code of silence," falsify records and testimonies or do nothing to stop the abuse should be terminated also.
Loretta L. Renford Concerned Citizens
Against Police Abuse