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How does Buffalo move forward after the protests and violence?

Community voices say police reform is needed when it comes to race
Posted at 7:15 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 16:56:13-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — After several days of protests and violence in Buffalo, there was finally a calm. Only one peaceful protest took place at the Erie County Holding Center.

It was sponsored by Voice-Buffalo and included a large number of Buffalo's religious community. The goal was to call for visible police reforms when it comes to dealing with the Black community and African-Americans. It was also meant to show the community that peaceful protesting is possible with people of all races.

"We are the city of good neighbors. We live with each other. We should be able to coexist peacefully between the police and the residents," said Jerome Wright, Voice-Buffalo vice-chair.

The group is also calling for the formation of a rapid-response team of community and religious leaders who would be used in cases where police are facing a possible violent confrontation. "Before the officers use force, they call out the rapid-response team and we have the ability to de-escalate," said Rev. Denise Walden, Voice Buffalo's 'Faith and Restore the Justice' organizer.

In the attached video clip, 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly hears from several people about what they think it will take for Buffalo to move forward after the protests.

Those interviews include Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader David Rivera; and Cecil Foster, who teaches at UB and is considered a leading public intellectual on issues of citizenship, culture, and race.