In the aftermath of the death of Philando Castile – a black man shot by a white police officer during a traffic stop – and the killing rampage that claimed five Dallas police officers, many wonder what to think, how to cope and to whom they can turn. The following is a collection of Buffalo community members’ thoughts.
Kimberly L. Beaty
Buffalo deputy police commissioner
“The men and women of the Buffalo Police Department will continue to keep our neighborhoods, (city) residents, those who visit, and ourselves safe. This is what we pledge to do. Our honor is about being committed to our job. To serve and protect is what law enforcement will always do.”
John V. Elmore
Prominent lawyer, former state trooper and prosecutor
“I feel very, very sorry for the police officers who lost their lives and their fellow police officers. I also feel sorry for the families of the African-Americans who have lost their lives in police custody or confrontations.
“There has been a trend in the United States toward the militarization of police departments and privatization of prisons. What the militarization means is more aggressive action. In the African-American community, there are some people who are very angry toward the police and very disrespectful toward the police, and that results in police having to use force to effect an arrest.”
A spokeswoman for the Black Lives Matter movement in Buffalo
“I have been trying to appeal to my state and county legislators to address inequities.
“There are always excuses for the demise and maltreatment of black people in the criminal justice system, in the education system, and there’s economic disparity and inequities in goods and services.
"Actually, police having body cameras; people having cellphones; and surveillance cameras are not a deterrent for police brutality.
The reasons that I feel that way are that the repercussions are not severe enough and there’s a dehumanization of the black community, specifically the black male."
Erie County sheriff
“Like the rest of the nation, we will mourn the loss of these dedicated servants (the police officers who were shot) and remember their commitment to the community of Dallas. I would hope that the nation would remember the good deeds that law enforcement performs on a daily basis. Your support and cooperation is a major part of our ability to protect and serve.”
A Buffalo police officer, who is white
“The feeling out here is that we are being left out to dry by the U.S. Department of Justice. After listening to Loretta Lynch give a speech, it appears that they’re more interested in pushing their anti-gun agenda, rather than the cause of all the violence. Everybody is watching their backs. We are all stunned at what happened in Dallas – not surprised – stunned. It is very distressing.”
A Buffalo police officer, who is black
“As a patrol officer, our hearts go out to those officers who lost their lives and were injured. It is an unfortunate situation, and I’m hoping this is an isolated incident. That is what I’m hoping. In the city of Buffalo, we haven’t had those incidents. I’m attributing that to good police work and good communications with the citizens of Buffalo.”
Officers and detectives are not authorized to speak to the media, which is why they were not identified.
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