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7 protestors arrested outside State of the City

Posted at 6:51 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 23:24:38-05

Buffalo Police arrested seven individuals who were protesting the death of Wardel Davis outside Mayor Byron Brown's State of the City address Friday afternoon.  The protestors sat down in the middle of Franklin and Court Streets, blocking traffic in the intersection.

It started with a protestor interrupting Mayor Brown's speech and being escorted out of the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.  Outside, dozens more were protesting.  Some holding signs reading "No paid vacation for killer cops", "State of the City: racist" and "Justice for Meech".

20-year-old Wardel "Meech" Davis died last week in police custody.  The Buffalo man was arrested by two BPD officers and then, according to police, suffered a medical episode.

Brenda Miller-Herndon knew Davis and was participating in the protests Friday afternoon.

"We want answers," she said.  "And if you can't give us them, we know how to protest and we know how to shut it down.  All we want is basic answers.  What happened to Meech?  What happened to him?"

Miller-Herndon and other protestors say they're looking for answers from police and criticized the way the BPD and Mayor Brown have handled the situation so far.

Erin Heaney is a member of Showing Up for Racial Justice, a social justice group in the city.  She wants to see Mayor Brown address the protestor's concerns head on.

"We know that Byron Brown is out here today saying that the state of the city is strong," she said.  "We know that that's not true for black and brown folks in the city.  We have a huge police brutality problem in the city of Buffalo and we're here to not allow that to be swept under the rug."

The seven protestors arrested have all been charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration.  Two of the seven are facing an additional charge of resisting arrest.

Buffalo Police arrested seven individuals who were protesting the death of Wardel Davis outside Mayor Byron Brown's State of the City address Friday afternoon. The protestors sat down in the middle of Franklin and Court Streets, blocking traffic in the intersection.