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Buffalo Common Council Member calls for emergency meeting with Police Commissioner Lockwood

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 23:49:28-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Common Council Member Chris Scanlon is calling for an emergency meeting with Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, Deputy Commissioners Barbara Lark and Joseph Gramaglia, and other leaders in the Buffalo Police Department.

"The public is demanding reform, they're demanding answers. And I believe during these times, we have to shoulder that responsibility," Scanlon said during a virtual Common Council meeting.

Scanlon says he wants to focus on training, tactics and policies. He also wants to know who is giving orders, and who is overseeing management.

"As those tough questions of that administration and assist in facilitating change," Scanlon said.

Scanlon, and other members of the council will have to wait seven weeks to ask those questions. Right now, the Police Oversight Committee meeting is July 28th.

Majority Leader David Rivera, who chairs the Police Oversight Committee said that's the date that worked best for the commissioner's schedule. Rivera added that he hoped pushing the date to late July what allow the public to attend the meeting.

Rivera said he spoke with Commissioner Byron Lockwood and Mayor Byron Brown, and all have agreed to quarterly meetings with the Police Oversight Committee moving forward. Previously, the meeting was held twice a year.

"We've asked in the past for additional meetings, it's unfortunate it took an incident like this for them to reconsider and actually do it," Rivera said.

In a letter to Rivera and the Common Council ahead of Tuesday's meeting Scanlon wrote, "I believe a lack of leadership within the Buffalo Police Department led to many of the issues that have occurred in the past week and a half."

As for whether the situation called for a change in leadership, he said that depends on the answers to the questions he wants to pose to police leadership.

Rivera said he reached back out to the Commissioner Lockwood after the council meeting, and is waiting to hear back about an earlier date. He said the Common Council also sent the commissioner an official request for an emergency session.

A spokesperson for the Buffalo Police Department said he has not yet heard from the commissioner as to when the meeting will be scheduled.