Buffalo PD stand by decision to not carry tasers after man hit by PD cruiser

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Police tell us they have an individual in custody following a SWAT call Saturday afternoon.

BPD were called to Chicago and Fulton Streets around 12:30 pm after someone reported a man making threats with a large knife. Police say the man was inside the home but eventually came out and began threatening officers with deadly force. The SWAT Team and Crisis Management Team were both called to the scene.

A Facebook Live video shows officers surrounding an individual and then a BPD cruiser backs up and hits the person.

Police tell us the man was aggressively approaching officers with a large knife when he was hit by the police vehicle.

An attorney representing Buffalo Police officers, Tom Burton, told News 4 it’s unusual to use a vehicle to subdue an individual, but says it’s not prohibited.

“It’s not in what form the force takes from a police officer, but rather if it’s justified,” said Burton.

Burton says using a taser was not an option.

“You need to have one to be able to use it. It’s my understanding there are only two tasers for almost 800 officers on the Buffalo Police Department,” said Burton.

Some question why Buffalo police don’t carry tasers.  The police commissioner Dan Dereda tells News 4’s Nalina Shapiro the department researched tasers and have decided not to go with them for various reasons. Numerous reports show if used incorrectly, tasers could lead to someone’s death, especially those with a mental illness or on drugs or alcohol.

Police also tell News 4 a decision had to be made quickly because people living in the neighborhood were standing on the street nearby and when the suspect started walking towards them and officers, a decision was made not to use deadly force.

The man hit by the vehicle was taken to ECMC with an ankle injury and in undergoing a mental health evaluation.

Buffalo Police tell us they have opened an internal affairs case regarding the incident to determine whether officers were threatened with deadly force and if their action was justified.

Sources say police have been called to this address in the past.

If you have information about what happened, call or text the confidential tip line (716)-847-2255.



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