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POLICE INVESTIGATING USE OF PEPPER SPRAY ON BUS

A Buffalo police officer sprayed a youth with pepper spray on a school bus last week, and now an internal police review is being conducted to determine if he acted properly, city police officials said Wednesday.

Loretta L. Renford, a co-founder of Concerned Citizens Against Police Abuse, filed a complaint, and the department's Professional Standards Division launched the investigation.

Northwest District police initially responded to a call of a weapon on the bus at 8:30 a.m. on Military Road, but it turned out to be a fight between students.

A 13-year-old girl, at the request of the bus driver, was asked to leave the vehicle, but refused, and a scuffle between her and the police started. The student allegedly kicked one of the officers in the stomach and groin, prompting the pepper spray discharge, according to police investigators.

"We're looking to see if standard operating procedures for the use of pepper spray were followed," a police official said.

The girl was taken into custody, charged with juvenile delinquency and petitioned to Erie County Family Court, authorities said.

A second school bus was dispatched to the scene and youngsters were transferred onto that bus, following the spraying incident, police said.

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