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Buffalo has a long history of protecting cops from criminal charges: report

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Man bleeding from the ear (screengrabs)

On Saturday, The Daily Beast documented the recent history of use of force in the Buffalo Police Department, which is reeling from controversy as two officers face assault charges for shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground.

“As shocking as this all may be to outsiders, the shoving of demonstrator Martin Gugino and the defiant response of officers to an effort to discipline two of their own is indicative of the state of police affairs in Buffalo,” wrote Jim Heaney. “Has been for a long time, not that you have to go back too far to find other episodes of brutality that have been captured on video.”

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For example, Heaney wrote, “Last month, a white Buffalo cop was caught on camera repeatedly punching a black suspect in the face after he’d been wrestled to the ground. The cop, and his partner, remain on the job, not so much as reassigned to desk duty.”

Even worse, however, “No fewer than four men of color have died as the result of encounters with Buffalo police in the past three years.”

“First there was Wardel ‘Meech’ Davis, stopped in February 2017 by police officers who later refused to cooperate with investigators,” wrote Heaney. “In May of that year, Jose Hernandez-Rossy was shot as he reportedly fled police. Rafael ‘Pito’ Rivera was shot as he ran from police in September 2018. Marcus Neal was shot by police after they cornered him on a rooftop in December 2018.”

“Then there was the settlement earlier this year in which the city paid Wilson Morales $4.5 million after police shot and paralyzed him in 2012,” wrote Heaney. “Both cops involved in the shooting have since been promoted.”

One of the big issues, Heaney wrote, is a lack of accountability. “New York’s notorious 50-a law pretty much prohibits the disclosure of police disciplinary records, and the department’s Internal Affairs unit takes it from there. Investigative Post, in a February 2017 story, reported that Internal Affairs cleared officers of wrongdoing in 94 percent of the cases it investigated during a nearly three-year period.” Furthermore, Mayor Byron Brown, the city council, the human rights commission, and the independent citizen advisory committee virtually never use their oversight powers over police.

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“Little wonder that a survey several years ago of inner-city residents found close to half of them weren’t comfortable calling the police in an emergency,” wrote Heaney.

“The events of the past week have the feel of sea-change,” wrote Heaney. “Brown has lost the support of his police department and drawn the ire of a new generation of activists drawn out by the protests. Police reform, and the larger issue of racial discrimination, has emerged from the shadows and forced one of the nation’s poorest, most segregated cities to face its demons. It’s been a long time coming.”


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2020 Election

Here’s how Mitch McConnell could lose his leverage to replace Ginsburg after November

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According to a report in AZCentral, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to rush through a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could encounter an unexpected roadblock if he tries to hold a confirmation vote after the election.

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WATCH: Trump reveals how he can manipulate Democrats to help him put Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court

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President Donald Trump spoke about his plans for the Supreme Court during a Friday night campaign rally in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Trump took the stage before news was announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died and appeared to not know of the Supreme Court vacancy.

Trump explained to his audience why he had put Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on his shortlist for a Supreme Court nomination.

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2020 Election

GOP senator blasted after immediately calling for vote on RBG replacement: ‘Only a ghoul would tweet something like this’

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As the race is Special Election to fill a vacant seat, Kelly could be sworn in as early as November 30 if he prevails.

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