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Buffalo Police Captain sued for racist rant, hostile work environment

Posted at 6:10 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-02 11:24:32-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In a 17-page lawsuit, filed in Federal Court, three members of the Buffalo Police Behavioral Health Team allege their boss, Amber Beyer went on a 20-minute racist rant in May.

The three plaintiffs, all African American all say their boss Beyer made comments after watching a viral video of a white officer pulling over a black officer.

The suit says Beyer claimed, “Black men cheat on their wives more than white men,” and that “all the black police officers she knows are unfaithful.”

She is also alleged to have said, “If she saw a black man in her neighborhood, she would be suspicious.”

The suit claims during this same conversation, Beyer said, “White officers get PTSD from working in Black neighborhoods—like the East Side of Buffalo—but Black officers do not because they are used to violence and Black people commit more violent crime than White people.”

“The comments are shocking,” said Nate McMurray, who is representing the officers and member of the Behavioral Health Team. “She said some of the worst stereotypes you can say. For a police officer in a very senior and prominent roll-Captain to be saying those things, is shocking,” he said.

According to the suit, the officers filed a formal complaint with Internal Affairs, and upon learning of the investigation Beyer called them “liars” and “gossips.”

The suit also alleges in late September, Captain Beyer printed out a Facebook post by a mentally unwell Buffalo woman and began reading the post in dramatic fashion, repeatedly yelling the “n-word” as it was written in the post.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joeseph Gramaglia says when his department became aware of the second allegation, Beyer was removed from overseeing the Behavioral Health Team. He says the internal investigation is ongoing and should be wrapped up soon.

On December 2, the commissioner confirmed that Beyer has been suspended.

All of the plaintiffs either left their jobs or have gone out on leave, the suit says.

Beyer, the department, and the City of Buffalo are being sued for retaliation, a hostile work environment and race discrimination.

They’re seeking $15 million in damages.