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Anti-abortion clinic in Amherst suing police department over surveillance video

A health care clinic in Amherst is taking the town's police department to court
Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 18:27:30-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — A health care clinic in Amherst is taking the town's police department to court. "CompassCare" is suing for its own surveillance video which was given to police for an arson investigation.

This is all part of our "follow up" series. It's our commitment to staying on top of the stories that impact you and your community. That alleged arson happened early in the morning on June 7th.

CompassCare on Eggert Road, which provides alternatives to abortion believes a "pro-abortion group" was behind the blaze. The clinic says it handed the surveillance footage over to police *that day* and was unable to make a copy or even see the video beforehand.

"CompassCare pregnancy Services" is now suing the Amherst Police Department for the return of the video evidence. The clinic's lawsuit says it has an immediate need for a copy of its surveillance video to identify potential suspects. The clinic claims Amherst police have refused to turn over copies despite multiple requests. Amherst Town Attorney Stanley Sliwa says, "We're still investigating it. We don't want to disseminate the tape to anyone at this time because we don't want it to get out, what we're doing and who we're looking at."

CompassCare President and CEO James Harden says they want the surveillance video back now so they can do their own investigation. He says, "It's been 105 days. The FBI refuses to communicate with the public. The pubic deserves to know what's going on. There have been no arrests at any of the organizations that have been attacked.....all pro-life organizations. No arrests have been made. That's a big question mark.

Harden says they filed with the state supreme court to get their property back after requesting a copy of the surveillance video numerous times. He says, "They wouldn't even let us view our own video surveillance." Attorney Sliwa says multiple agencies are involved and the investigation is ongoing.