Local organizations call for criminal justice reform

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –People gathered together Tuesday night for a peaceful protest in the name of Black Lives Matter.

Before the end of the night , the word “Resign” was been painted on Franklin Street right in front of the county hall. Buffalo Police officials say they are reviewing tapes to see who is responsible.

This comes after a Buffalo man was shot during a mental health call. The protest and the incident both happened at Genesee and Michigan. 60-year-old Willie Henley was shot by officer Karl Schultz over the weekend. Before the shots were fired, Henley allegedly hit a female officer with a bat twice. Still, protesters say it’s time for a change in the police department.

“We need to take mental health services out of policing altogether. Mayor Brown announced his new crisis intervention team with endeavor but we know from Rochester’s intervention team that that structure doesn’t save lives. It actually cost Daniel Prude his life. It didn’t save Daniel and it won’t save Buffalo, ” said protester De’jon hall.

Earlier in the day several organizations in Buffalo came together at Mount Olive Baptist Church in support of criminal justice reform in the police department. The Minority Bar Association of Western New York created a task force that came up with several recommendations to address flaws they see within the system.

Those include banning body camera interference, making police disciplinary hearings public, and ending car searches based on the smell of marijuana. Community leaders say it’s time for the culture to change.

“It’s time for us to stop dying, and we’re standing here asking collectively to make sure that justice does happen in our community and that our people will be the ones that will help enact that chang because we’re done dying,” said Buffalo NAACP president Mark Blue.

Leaders hope the police union strongly considers the recommendations because they believe it will help lessen the divide between the police and communities of color.

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