BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Cazenovia Park became the sight of dual rallies Saturday with protesters on both sides of the police reform debate making their voices heard.
It started with a Back the Blue Rally. Organizers wanted to show support for local police.
They say Buffalo’s latest attempts at police reform are making them feel unsafe in their neighborhoods.
“It’s a very nerve-wracking situation. I always feel confident in myself and my own safety, but I dont want to be confronted, ya know I don’t want a life like that. And you know, right now I’m a small business owner and my employees are at risk on a regular basis, and we’ve been told by law enforcement, there’s not a lot we can do appearance tickets is the best unless its a really violent egregious crime. And that’s a scary thing,” said organizer Mike Burns.
Those who own businesses say a lack of strict policing is also making it difficult to enforce coronavirus guidelines with patrons who don’t follow the rules.
Several organizations also held a March for Change in the South Buffalo park.
The people involved with this rally say they’re promoting a more peaceful community and raising awareness of the implicit biases they say police, as well as residents of Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs, have.
“You see all different shades and colors. This is a humanitarian crisis, this is big, this is huge. The whole world noticed us. So that we don’t have people that don’t see that, its a problem.”
Organizers are planning another march for change tomorrow at the Harlem Road Community Center in Amherst.