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Buffalo clergy rally against police violence

Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 13, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-08 19:04:54-05

Nearly two hundred people gathered outside Buffalo City Hall on Saturday afternoon to protest, what they say, is a growing trend of police to use violence against the minority community.

The protest was organized by the Concerned Clergy Coalition of WNY, and the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the National Action Network.

It was planned to coincide with the National "March on Washington."

Protesters were peaceful but said the time had come to take a stronger stand against racism and police brutality.

Clergy members from across WNY had a list of demands; more widespread use of police body cameras, more diversity training for officers, the establishment of New York State prosecutors, independent of district attorney offices, to investigate cases of police violence; and the implementation of in-school training for youth about how to act when confronted by police.

Speakers at the rally referenced the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Gardner in Staten Island, NY.

Those deaths, and the non-indictment of the officers involved, sparked violent protests in several parts of the country.

The Buffalo protesters said they were only trying to be "annoying" in order to get attention brought to the problem, but added, they would remain peaceful with their efforts.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the City is organizing a community forum on police relations.

Input will be used to create future policies.

The forum is scheduled for December 16, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Buffalo.