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Planned Parenthood details incident that led to West Seneca police officer's suspension

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 16:00:19-04

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The West Seneca Police Department has suspended an officer while it investigates an incident at the town's Planned Parenthood clinic.

The department has not released details of the incident, other than confirming it was dispatched to the clinic on Friday and is aware of second-hand information circulating on social media.

"We have been in contact with the Administrative Staff from Planned Parenthood and are conducting a joint investigation into incident and allegations made regarding the demeanor of an officer who responded to the situation," a post on the department's Facebook page reads. "The officer in question has been suspended from duty pending the outcome of this investigation."

The department asked for patience while it determined the next steps.

"We ask that interested parties allow us to work with Planned Parenthood and give us an opportunity to compile specifics as to what occurred so we can make corrective measures as the facts dictate," the department says.

Wednesday, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York (PPCWNY) released details of the incident.

Planned Parenthood says an individual arrived to the West Seneca health center and demanded to speak to his partner who he believed was receiving treatment there. In the process, officials say the individual's behavior became a threat and he was asked to leave.

After leaving the individual attempted to enter again and kicked the door several times which caused the staff to call police.

According to Planned Parenthood, after the responding officer found out a Black Lives Matter sign in the window belonged to the organization the officer berated the staff for supporting the movement and left after refusing to respond to the call.

PPCWNY released the following statement in regards to the incident:

"Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York is in communication with the appropriate officials at West Seneca Police department, and at this point in time is satisfied with their swift disciplinary action. We understand the officer in question has been suspended pending an investigation into the incident.

Planned Parenthood stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter because the movement demands change and strives to dismantle systemic racism. We know that systemic racism permeates every American institutionꟷthe criminal justice system, health care, housing, and more. The foundation of this country was built on systemic racism and the free labor of enslaved Black people. PPCWNY will continue to demand accountability, justice and an end to the inequity that continues to define every moment of life for Black America."

West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson released the following statement on the incident Wednesday:

“The West Seneca Police Department has partnered with Planned Parenthood to conduct a full investigation into alleged misconduct by a police officer. While the investigation is ongoing, the officer in question has been suspended. Eyewitness accounts and all other pieces of evidence are currently being collected and reviewed. I have complete confidence in the ability of our Police Department to investigate the matter thoroughly. If warranted, at the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken. Until then, I will have no further comment on the situation. Thank you.”