Monday, August 18, 2008

Buffalo Police JBTs

Wow, only a couple of days since my last JBT post, and the Buffalo Police Department has already shown a perfect example of why the militarization of our police is a bad idea.


Armed with a battering ram and shotguns, Buffalo police looking for heroin broke down the door and stormed the lower apartment of a West Side family of eight.

The problem is that the Wednesday evening raid should have occurred at an apartment upstairs.

And, that’s only the tip of the iceberg, according to Schavon Pennyamon, who lives at the mistakenly raided apartment on Sherwood Street with her husband, Terrell, and six children.

Pennyamon alleges that after wrongly breaking into her apartment, police proceeded to strike her epileptic husband in the head with the butt end of a shotgun and point shotguns at her young children before admitting their mistake and then raiding the right apartment.

She says she’s left with a broken door, an injured husband, jittery children and — what bothers her most — still no apology from police.

“They know they did something wrong and they were still ignorant,” said the 29-year-old Pennyamon. “At first, I just wanted an apology. Now, because they want[ed] to be ignorant and rude, I have to take it to the next level.”

I hope she sues their ass off. A spokesmen apologized eventually, but why aren't the police at least fixing her door, and checking on the innocent citizen they beat in the head?

“It appears to be an honest mistake and we certainly apologize to all involved,” added Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.

An honest mistake? Luckily no innocent CITIZENS were killed this time.

Pennyamon remains unconvinced it was a mistake. She says officers told her they had “raided the house before” and she believes they felt entitled to do it again — warrant or not.

“The way they make it seem is ‘we can do whatever we want,’ ” she said.

Pennyamon’s troubled by what she says is an arrogance by police officers and an unwillingness to “serve and protect” those who need it.

“It’s a sad situation. I’ve always looked up to the police. I’ve always expected them to be on my side.”

How sad.