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Buffalo Police officers put tape over name tags during protest

Posted at 8:09 PM, Sep 02, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Several Buffalo Police Officers have come under fire for putting tape over their name tags during protest in Buffalo Tuesday.

"Police also need to act responsibly by displaying their names and badge numbers as they're required to do," Mayor Byron Brown said.

Protests broke out along Hertel Avenue Tuesday. They continued Wednesday in front of MT Pockets on Hertel.

In The BPD Manual, it says, "Uniforms to be worn properly. Name tags must always be displayed on the outer most garmet."

But some officers chose to hide their names. Mayor Brown and the Buffalo Police Department says while this is against the rules, there have been several instances of doxing, and threats toward officers and their families.

"Attacking officers through social media to get your points across, attacking their families, you've way crossed the boundaries," said Buffalo Police Deputy Commissioner Joe Gramaglia.

The department says that it has even addressed some threats toward officers and their families, but that the name does need to be prominently displayed.

The Buffalo Police Union says, "I don't blame them at all. We recently (last week) had death threats made to an officer, and the threatening individuals had information on the officers home address, wife and child. He had to move them for their protection. We understand that we as police officers are targets, our families didn't sign up to have harm brought to them because they have a husband/father that is a police officer. We have approached the administration into making this a practice, as there are police departments across the country that use badge numbers as identifiers, we are waiting for their response."

Organizers of the march Tuesday say this completely violates transparency.

"This just shows the type of corruption we have right here in WNY," said WNY Liberation Collective founder Darien Chandler.

Protesters were back on Hertel Wednesday. All officers appeared to have their names displayed.

Gramaglia says the department is looking at which officers hid their name tags. Discipline could be handed down.