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)


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

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

Sept. 19, 2002 Settlement Agreement

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

DOJ Investigation of the Buffalo Police Department

Sept. 19, 2002 Press Release

Amended Memorandum of Agreement

July 9, 2007 Settlement Agreement

Resources

Title Description External URL

Beginning to End Racial Profiling: Definitive Solutions to an Elusive Problem

Kami Chavis Simmons

Undoubtedly, the pernicious practice of racial profiling, or at least the perception that this practice occurs, has caused many citizens to alter their routine to avoid the indignity of yet another p… March 18, 2011 https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/crsj/vol18/iss1/6/

Reforming Police Use-of-Force Practices: A Case Study of the Cincinnati Police Department

Elliot Harvey Schatmeier

When Congress enacted the Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act of 1994, it gave the Department of Justice (DOJ) a powerful tool for correcting unconstitutional practices in state and local pol… Sept. 1, 2012 http://www.columbia.edu/cu/jlsp/pdf/Summer2013/Schatmeier.pdf

The Legacy of Stop and Frisk: Addressing the Vestiges of a Violent Police Culture

Kami Chavis Simmons

Part I of this Essay explains the controversial stop-and-frisk policy as it has been implemented in New York City and explores arguments for and against the use of such tactics to prevent and investi… Jan. 1, 2014 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2873807

Future of the Fourth Amendment: The Problem with Privacy, Poverty and Policing

Kami Chavis Simmons

For decades, the reasonable expectation of privacy has been the primary standard by which courts have determined whether a “search” has occurred within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The Suprem… Dec. 1, 2014 https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/56360400.pdf

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

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:

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