Black Lives Matter Buffalo and other groups file federal lawsuit against BPD


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A federal lawsuit is being filed against Buffalo police by Black Lives Matter Buffalo and a coalition of residents.

Black Lives Matter and several other groups stood in front of city hall Tuesday to announce the federal lawsuit filed against BPD and the city of Buffalo, claiming in the lawsuit that the city needs to be held more accountable for how it treats African Americans.

They’re also asking the state Attorney General’s office to investigate the BPD for “unconstitutional searches and seizures” based on a State University of New York at Buffalo and Cornell Law School study.

The lawsuit was filed by a woman who says she was retaliated against by BPD after she did a T.V. interview criticizing the traffic checkpoint in front of her east side home. She says a week later, she was given several tickets by the BPD for things like her garbage can and a car on her property.

Black Lives Matter also alleges that African Americans and minorities are often the target of the city’s traffic checkpoints, which BLM claims often leads to the arrest of many minorities.

City spokesman, Mike DeGeorge says those checkpoints are chosen in certain areas as a result of neighbor complaints that are called into the city’s 3-1-1 hotline.

The city is responding to the lawsuit in a statement:

“The city has not seen the claim but any allegation of discrimination is completely false.”

-Mike DeGeorge, City Spokesperson

The lawsuit was filed with the Western District of New York District Court and the plaintiffs are seeking money damages.

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