Incident between Buffalo man and BPD officer ends with a hug

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The City of Buffalo has made national headlines after recent events involving police and protesters.

But just days before that viral video, there was another one.The video was after the peaceful protest in Niagara Square ended. Kristin Russo with the Buffalo PBA noticed a man walking up to an officer, Lieutenant Liz Baker.

“I saw a man probably in his early 30s approach her. The exchange looked quite contentious he had his hands in the air, it didn’t look like a friendly conversation.”

And as the man continues to talk ,after a few minutes, something unexpected happened.

They hugged.

Russo says she didn’t hear their conversation since she was inside the police union’s office when she took the video, but she says she spoke with Lieutenant Baker afterwards.

“He shared a story about his son and he wasn’t happy about an interaction once, but he said he didn’t paint all police officers with the same brush and I thought that was something we should all live by you don’t see the hugging as much as you see the bad, which the hugging doesn’t happen every day but the bad doesn’t happen every day either.”

Another video shows Baker and the same man talking again, this time ending with a handshake.
News 4 reached out to Buffalo Police to speak with Lieutenant Baker. They said she wasn’t available.

Russo says she hopes people and officers can learn from these interactions.

“We would like to make everything better by just having the public understand what we go through every day as well as police officers need to understand people make mistakes and they’re not a bad person and they need to be treated like human beings.”

Shannon Smith is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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