Criminal Justice, Equality/Civil Rights
This complaint, submitted by undersigned counsel on behalf of Black Lives Matter-Buffalo (“BLM”) and a coalition of residents of Buffalo, New York, alleges the Buffalo Police Department (“BPD”) has engaged in a repeated, persistent and widespread pattern of unconstitutional policing, one which has specifically and disproportionately targeted people of color. These tactics, directed in predominantly minority areas, have unnecessarily funneled thousands into the criminal justice system. Additionally, the City and all oversight agencies have abdicated their responsibilities to hold individual officers accountable for systematic misconduct, thereby allowing habitual offenders to stay on the police force without sanction. With no independent accountability mechanism, BPD officers are frequently cleared of wrongdoing—even where the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) or courts have later found such officers at fault.