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Six Officers Placed on Leave in Brutality Investigation



Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - A YouTube video has surfaced that alleges police brutality by the Buffalo Police Department, and now six officers have been placed on administrative leave.

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On April 24, the video was uploaded showing Buffalo Police officers allegedly using excessive force while apprehending a black male outside a corner store.

In the video, the authors say you can see that officer knee into and punch the victim while trying to apprehend him. Towards the end of the video, you can see officers kicking and punching the victim while he was handcuffed and laying face down, pleading for them to stop. 

The video (below)  video was first posted on a Facebook page belonging to a group that encourages people to videotape their encounters with local police.

  On Monday, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda held a news conference saying that an internal investigation is underway.

"At this point the investigation is proceeding rapidly," Derenda said. "We're working on identifying the officers involved in the incident. We believe the incident took place on April 19th at approximately 10:30 at Ontario and Philadelphia Streets."

Later Monday, Derenda announced that six police officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

"My first reaction when I watched the video to completion was one of being shocked and disturbed at what I saw," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

"I am satisfied with (the administrative leave)," Brown said. "I believe as soon as every officer that was on scene was identified, the Police Commissioner moved to put all of those officers on administrative leave. I am very comfortable that was the right call. Now, it's important for the investigation to go forward in a comprehensive and thorough matter."

Brown did not say whether or not the officers would be paid while on leave.

Derenda said there were six officers involved, and Police have other video beside what was taken from the cell phone to help them in their investigation.

Buffalo Police have been in contact with the FBI and District Attorney about a possible civil case resulting from the incident.

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What Buffalo Police are dealing with is part of a growing trend that according to some can actually help police in the long term.

 shows several officers subduing a man on a Buffalo street at night.

In recent days there have been similar cases in Green Bay Wisconsin, The Bronx and Atlanta. A broader  search of YouTube finds similar videos this month from in British Columbia, Canada and New Delhi India.

"It kind of keeps us on our toes. Keeps us honest, I think it's a good thing," former San Francisco Police Chief Tony Ribera .recently told KFTU after a similar case there earlier this month.

Buffalo Police Chief Dan Derenda had similar thoughts when asked about the Buffalo case Monday.

"Cameras are a good thing. And people should know that whether cameras are out there or not, inappropriate behavior can't be condoned, will not be tolerated," Derenda said.

University of Albany Criminal Justice Professor Hans Toch studied police internal investigations in one west coast city from 1967 to 1971, and then again in 2010 and 2011.

He found that digital communications- cell phone video and social media.. in the long run has actually had a positive effect-- with many police departments adopting new policies and better policing he says because of the cell phone videos.

Emily Good agrees. Good was at the center of a firestorm after being arrested in Rochester in 2011 and charged with obstruction of justice for taping an incident she saw outside here house. The charges were later dropped and she has become an advocate for more taping, working with community groups to help them become an extra set of eyes against brutality.

" I  think that the newer trend of police officers actually wearing camera is a great idea.It's showing that the use of force can be decreased when officers know their interaction is being videotaped, " Good tells WBEN's Brian Mazurowski.

Meanwhile, with this sort of thing in mind, .an entrepreneur in Toronto has launched an app that will send every one of your cell phone videos automatically to You Tube to preserve them, and the NAACP has had an online reporting system for such videos since 2009.

“Nationwide, more than 26,000 citizen complaints of police officer use of force were filed with state and local law enforcement agencies in 2002. However, because many incidents are not reported, this number does not capture the full magnitude of the problem,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said in a prepared statement

Report incidents to the NAACP from a mobile phone here |  Report incidents from a web form here


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04/29/2014 7:08AM
Six Officers Placed on Leave in Brutality Investigation
Please enter your comments below.
04/29/2014 8:03AM
assault
Once the police are the only ones allowed to have assault weapons, you can thank a Democrat.
04/29/2014 8:27AM
TS
that's the wat to treat a perk.
04/29/2014 10:13AM
riot
buffalo is one of the most corrupted police department in the nation . lucky there is not a riot in buffalo
04/29/2014 10:39PM
not first
this isnt the first incident in our life time th po po killed that senetors son in north buffalo back some years ago and then the fat guy over there on virginia street plus they had caught some of them dealing marjane and crack out of there cars on the eastside they need to hire smart black and smart whites and give them good money and 2 to a car for safety and clean up their back house
04/30/2014 1:10PM
Here is what you DONT hear about the police!
My daughter is a buffalo police officer. She has helped a kid decide to live instead of committing suicide, stayed with a little kid whose mom "forgot" to pick her up from school for six hours!, comforted a mentally ill man while waiting for an ambulance and bought him a piece of pizza from her own money, and done many other kind deeds. Her colleagues have rescued someone from a burning building, took in an abused dog, worked with kids in programs after school, etc etc. I have gone on ride-alongs and have seen for myself the respect and consideration they give to EVERYONE, even the people they arrest. NOT all cops are evil-many of them really DO serve and protect! She would put her life on the line for people who curse the cops, write and say bad things about them, and make them out to be monsters! Of course all this sensationalism makes the job harder! Why dont you profile some cops who do the RIGHT thing..and replay these acts, instead of a two-second mention once or twice on the news??? I would be happy to give you another perspective if I only had the chance! Proud police Mom
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