BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The State Attorney General’s office is investigating the Buffalo Police Department’s use of traffic checkpoints following a complaint filed by members of Black Lives Matter Buffalo and other community groups in August.
The AG’s office is also investigating BPD’s practices inside public housing developments.
A letter that BLM Buffalo and a community coalition sent to the AG’s office on Aug. 31 stated that BPD have engaged in “a repeated, persistent and widespread pattern of unconstitutional policing, one which has specifically and disproportionately targeted people of color.”
“These tactics, directed in predominantly minority areas, have unnecessarily funneled thousands into the criminal justice system,” the letter stated.
The letter also accuse the city and oversight agencies of “abdicating their responsibilities to hold individual officers accountable for systematic misconduct, thereby allowing habitual offenders to stay on the police force without sanction”, based on two years of research by faculty and students at SUNY Buffalo and Cornell Law School.
The Buffalo Police Department maintains that any allegation of discrimination is false.
“As we said before the complaint was filed, any allegation of discrimination is completely false. Since that complaint is currently being litigated, any further comment on this matter would be inappropriate at this time,” a statement from the department said Wednesday.
The AG’s Offcie sent a letter to BPD Wednesday, requesting a series of documents including any guidelines given to police officers or their supervisors on how to conduct vehicle checkpoints, how the locations for checkpoints are selected, and the reasons for conducting them.
The letter also seeks documents on the BPD’s procedures on providing security in Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.