BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo and Erie County officials are working to find out who organized Saturday’s protest in Niagara Square, after they say it became evident that it was not organized by activists known to the community.
“The activists in this community are not the ones who called this protest,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said during a joint press conference Sunday with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Buffalo Police Department Capt. Jeff Rinaldo. “Some of these actors that [Poloncarz] and others have talked about, their goal was to incite violence, to inflame the situation, and to get people from here to become violent.”
Poloncarz noted that some of the peaceful protesters saw that there were individuals attempting to rile up the crowd and let officials know.
“If you go to a protest in Buffalo, you often see the same faces,” Poloncarz said. “It’s apparent that there were a small group of individuals who came here with violence on their minds.”
They noted that most of the protesters were peaceful.
“There’s a lot of anger, a lot of disgust at what happened in Minnesota,” Poloncarz said. “We can’t allow that kind of injustice to occur in our country- we support peaceful protests.”
“It was not the night we hoped it would be, but it was not a night like we say in other parts of the country,” he added. The community came together to clean up as early as 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning.
Mayor Brown is asking residents not to participate in any protest activity or other activity in the City of Buffalo Sunday night. A curfew has been put in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the entire county.
State Police will be coming into provide support to the City of Buffalo tonight, he added.
Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.