BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Pastor Darius Pridgen has a special trip planned following church service Sunday; he’s getting on a plane to Baltimore.
Almost a month after 25-year-old Freddie Grey died there while in police custody, protesting continues.
Six officers are now being charged for his death.
“It’s important for me not only as a clergy member but as an elected official to see this. Because my concern is, is what would happen if anything, even close to this, were to happen in Buffalo, New York,” Pridgen told News 4.
Pridgen, who is also Buffalo’s Common Council president, was invited to participate in a peaceful rally in Baltimore along with other clergy members.
He was also invited to get up on stage and address a crowd, but he’s declined.
“I want to see what it’s like on the street. That’s what’s most important to me, is to be right there on the street, what the regular citizen has to deal with every single day,” he said.
Pridgen told News 4 seeing the turmoil there firsthand will help him understand how to avoid a similar tragedy here in Buffalo.
He says Buffalo’s Police Oversight Committee has proven a commitment to transparency, but he says there’s room for improvement.
“If we continue to learn from what others have not done well in the past, we can minimize that happening in Buffalo, rather than reacting to it if it does happen,” he said.