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Leaders in the anti-violence community react to chase, shooting

Posted at 10:19 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 13:40:42-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Leaders in Buffalo's anti-violence community said they are struck by the police chase that resulted in three officers and one suspect shoton Tuesday.

"Is there no end? Like is there no end?" Pastor James Giles, the president and CEO of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, said.

Community leaders said things like this chase and shooting don't generally happen in the City of Good Neighbors.

"You see it on the news all the time, but it happened in Buffalo, finally on that level," Murray Holman, the director of Stop the Violence Coalition, said.

"You don't hear of that happening in Buffalo where officers are intentionally attacked. That's a very rare thing that happens here in this city. Maybe some other cities, but not here, so I was deeply struck," Pastor Giles said.

The 40-minute long police chase, across the city, with shots fired the entire time has some community leaders frightened.

"Initially, I was afraid. Then I was humbled. Then, I was afraid again," Ken Stevens, a Buffalo Peacemaker, said.

"My concern there is that innocent people could get hit. Those that had absolutely nothing to do with the incident in any kind of way can get hit," Pastor Giles said.

But they also say they're grateful that no life was lost, that no innocent bystanders were hurt.

"Thank you Father most heavenly God for saving these individuals that were wounded, and that no life was lost yesterday. We're in trying times now, people. Yeah, that's a bad situation. It's bad all over the board. But no life was lost. We shall recover from this," Stevens said.

"Put the guns down. We're all family. Put them down. Be good neighbors. He said it clearly, freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor...' Just put the guns down. We're going to be alright. It's a sad feeling, waiting for your son to call you back and say he's alright," Murray said.