Poloncarz, mayors, supervisors coordinating to protect public safety
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced a curfew will be in effect tonight, Tuesday June 2, starting at 8 p.m., and ending tomorrow at 5 a.m. in the cities of Buffalo and Lackawanna and the towns of Amherst, Cheektowaga, Tonawanda and West Seneca.
The county executive imposed the curfew following discussions with City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, City of Lackawanna Mayor Annette Iafallo, Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski, Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa, Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger, and Town of West Seneca Supervisor Gary Dickson.
“Tonight, following last night’s unrest and after consulting with other elected officials this morning, I am reinstating a curfew for the City of Buffalo and the first-ring suburbs surrounding it. The curfew will begin at 8 p.m. and end at 5 a.m. tomorrow,” Poloncarz said. “While I fully support peaceful protests, last night’s peaceful protest devolved into violence, and that is unacceptable. Ensuring public safety is our first priority and renewing the curfew is a necessary step toward that goal.”
The City of Buffalo is enacting a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. tonight through Monday.
Essential personnel who are scheduled to work during the curfew hours are exempt and can report to work.
Following a peaceful protest intended to raise awareness and spur change in race relations, police clashed with protestors right around 10 p.m. In one incident caught on social media, a dark SUV came into a crowd and struck a Buffalo Police Department officer and two New York state troopers, sending them to Erie County Medical Center. Two people were shot in the process. At least one was reportedly in the vehicle at the time.
Six arrests were made, and one law enforcement vehicle was damaged.
At a press conference Tuesday morning, Brown said, “Our goal, our intent, as people express their pain and frustration, is to do everything that we can to keep the people of this community safe; to keep the businesses of this community safe. That is our intent. We respect the right to peacefully protest. But for those opportunists; for those outside agitators; for people who want to loot, want to steal, want to vandalize, want to damage – there is no place for that in our community.
“I am calling on all of the good people in the City of Good Neighbors to reject that kind of behavior. We know that people are in pain. We know people are hurting. But what some of the individuals are doing by rioting, by stealing, by looting, by vandalizing, is dishonoring the memory of George Floyd; dishonoring the memory of Eric Garner; of Ahmaud Arbery; of Freddie Gray; and all of the black men and people that have been injured or killed by rogue police officers.
“And I know for many of you, this is beyond police brutality. This is about racial injustice and inequity. But we have to come together right now as a community: Let your voices be heard; let your pens write on paper; let your proposals be read; let your grievances be aired. But let's do it peacefully.”