BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former Buffalo police lieutenant pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge related to incidents from 2009.
From May 30-31 of that year, Gregory Kwiatkowski, 52, was working the overnight shift. During his shift, Kwiatkowski went to an address on Treehaven Rd. to respond to a vehicle that was stopped by Cheektowaga police.
The vehicle was believed to have been involved in a BB gun shooting from earlier in the night.
Before Kwiatkowski got to the scene, the vehicle’s four occupants had been removed from the vehicle. They were all between 16 and 18 years old.
While there, prosecutors say Kwiatkowski “used unlawful and unreasonable force” on the four teenagers. Specifically, Kwiatkowski forcibly pushed the heads and upper torsos of the teens into a police car.
His use of force deprived the teens of their Constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable seizure and to due process of law, according to prosecutors.
After they were detained, a BB gun was found in the vehicle the teens were found in. Two other Buffalo police officers at the scene, Raymond Krug and Joseph Wendel, were accused of shooting one of the teens with it while they were seated and handcuffed in the police car.
Krug and Wendel will be in court Dec. 6.
For the charge of deprivation of rights under color of law, Kwiatkowski could spend up to one year in jail and pay a $100,000 fine.