Remember the story of the 57 ERT officers in Buffalo resigning from the unit (but not the force) because their fellow officers were being denied the constitutional right to throw an elderly protester to the ground?
It’s not true. They were forced to resign by the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, which then claimed that they did so in solidarity to their abusive cow-orkers.
They told members of the team that they would no longer cover the costs of legal representation for ERT (and SWAT), which meant that the officers would have to bear all the legal costs of defending themselves:
Two officers of the Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team spoke with 7 Eyewitness News under the condition their names not be used.
The officers are part of the 57-person volunteer assignment team that resigned Friday, following an incident involving two of their members Thursday night in Niagara Square. They did not resign from the police department, only from their roles on the team.
The officers we spoke with said the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association’s statement asserting all 57 officers resigned from ERT in a “show of support” with the two officers that were suspended without pay is not true.
What you mean that the PBA is lying? Say it ain’t so!
7 Eyewitness News was not able to reach PBA president John Evans to confirm this information or get a response to several officers shooting down his assertions, but we did obtain an email sent to PBA members by Evans.
It states, in part:
“In light of this, in order to maintain the sound financial structure of the PBA it will be my opinion the PBA NOT to pay for any ERT or SWAT members legal defense related to these protests going forward. This Admin in conjunction with DA John Flynn and or JP Kennedy could put a serious dent in the PBA’s funds.”
In a way, this is reassuring: At lest 2 of the 57 cops (probably more) did not resign in solidarity with officers who were charged after they pushed a septuagenarian protester to the ground and walked away while blood was streaming from his ear.
They quit because the PBA refused to have their back, and then the PBA claimed solidarity.