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Man charged with hate crime following Hertel march

Two men caught on camera slinging racial slurs in Buffalo during BLM protest
Posted at 1:02 PM, Aug 31, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A 47-year-old man has been charged with a hate crime in connection to an incident that happened during a march on Hertel Friday. The man was caught on camera with a knife slinging several racial slurs at protesters from the Western New York Liberation Collective.

Buffalo Police say 47-year-old Michael Cremen from Franklinville has been charged with menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment after the altercation.

During the march, members supporting BLM were walking down Hertel when two men came out of a neighboring bar and started slinging multiple racial slurs at those marching.

In the video and photos taken from the incident, you can see one of the men pulling out a knife. The video lasts several minutes. The second man has not been identified by police, and sources say he's not expected to face charges.

Buffalo Police were blocking off Hertel Avenue at the time. It is unclear how the confrontation ended. No one was injured.

Buffalo Police were on scene during the incident, and have been criticized for not stepping in. We asked Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo about this.

"We are determining whether or not the police had actually saw the knife. Some of the other people we spoke to didn't necessarily say they saw the knife in the hand and at the time the officer was at a traffic post stopping traffic from coming onto Hertel," he said.