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Case: DOJ Investigation of the Buffalo Police Department

No Court Case | No Court

Filed Date: 2002

Closed Date: 2005

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") opened an investigation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 14141 into the City of Buffalo and its police department (collectively referred to as "BPD") on December 9, 1997. We do not have the investigation's findings, but on September 19, 2002, DOJ, the BPD, the Police Benevolent Association, Inc. ("PBA"), and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 264 ("Local 264") entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to resolve issues relat…

The U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") opened an investigation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 14141 into the City of Buffalo and its police department (collectively referred to as "BPD") on December 9, 1997. We do not have the investigation's findings, but on September 19, 2002, DOJ, the BPD, the Police Benevolent Association, Inc. ("PBA"), and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 264 ("Local 264") entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to resolve issues relating to the use of chemical agent propellant ("CAP") spray--often called pepper spray--by officers of the BPD. The MOA called for changes that included the following:

  • officer training in the use of CAP, including training in verbal de-escalation techniques as an alternative means of control;

  • videotaping all uses of CAP in the department holding cells and prisoner processing areas;

  • implementation of a system to record, track and analyze officer use of force; and
  • changes to the way citizen complaints were received, investigated and resolved.

The MOA required the parties to select an independent reviewer whose role was to review and report on a quarterly basis the BPD's implementation of and compliance with certain provisions in the MOA.

The MOA was set to terminate three years after its effective date, provided that the DOJ determined that the BPD had been in substantial compliance for at least one year, or unless modified by the parties. That would have been in 2005. Instead, on July 9, 2007, the agreement was extended for one more year, and then closed out on July 8, 2008.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (1/7/2006)

Clearinghouse (1/3/2017)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Gonzalez, Gregory (District of Columbia)

Gregg, Tammie (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Murphy, Donna M. (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Sanders, Corey M. (District of Columbia)

Supler, Blaise (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Burton, Thomas H. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Gonzalez, Gregory (District of Columbia)

Gregg, Tammie (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Murphy, Donna M. (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Sanders, Corey M. (District of Columbia)

Supler, Blaise (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Burton, Thomas H. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Buffalo Police Department to Resolve Police Misconduct Investigation

DOJ Investigation of the Buffalo Police Department

Sept. 19, 2002

Sept. 19, 2002

Press Release

Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Buffalo, et al.

Sept. 19, 2002

Sept. 19, 2002

Settlement Agreement

Amended Memorandum of Agreement

July 9, 2007

July 9, 2007

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2002

Closing Date: 2005

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Buffalo Police Department (City of Buffalo), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, 34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2002 - 2008

Content of Injunction:

Reporting

Monitor/Master

Recordkeeping

Auditing

Monitoring

Required disclosure

Training

Issues

General:

Excessive force

Racial profiling

Race:

Black