Curfews in Buffalo for remainder of week

Mike Baggerman
June 02, 2020 - 12:29 pm

Photo credit Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announces a citywide curfew in response to the riots in Buffalo. June 2, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

The curfew officially ends at 5 a.m. Monday.

Anyone who violates the curfew will be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.

Mayor Byron Brown issued the directive after another violent night in Buffalo highlighted by injuries to three police officers when an SUV plowed through a blockade of officers. The three officers will survive and the two people in the SUV were charged on Monday. State police identified two of the officers struck as Trooper Ronald Ensminger Jr. and Trooper Randall Shenefiel.  

Law enforcement identified two people who rammed the SUV through a blockade of officers as 25-year-old Semaj T. Pigram of Buffalo and 28-year-old Walter Stewart, Jr. of Buffalo. It is unclear who drove the car. They were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property. Both are in jail pending bail.

“Our goal, our intent, as people express their pain and frustration, is to do everything we can do to keep the people of this community safe,” Brown said Tuesday morning. “To keep the businesses of this community safe. That is our intent. We respect the right to peacefully protest, but for those opportunists, 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.”

He called on the public to reject the rioting behavior.

Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood chronicled the afternoon of peaceful protests and the evening of riots, which included people from the neighborhood and people from the “outside” throwing rocks at police officers. Eight people in total were arrested Monday night.

The mayor said he does not regret the decision to not have a curfew on Monday night.

“We made a decision to work with the community and to trust the community,” Brown said. “…We saw great peace on Sunday and a tremendous response of people coming to clean up and help other people. We made a conscious decision not to impose a curfew yesterday.”

Brown said people are scared by what is happening and that the city will do whatever they can to protect the community.

He does not believe the National Guard will be required to deal with further demonstrations.

Those who peacefully protested on Monday night vowed to continue protests each day. Mayor Brown said he supports the peaceful protests but is advising against additional demonstrations.

“There is a real danger to the community and to the protesters,” Brown said. “Particularly as protests try to stretch into darkness of other things taking hold, of looting, of people trying to set fires, of vandalism, of store owners who live in the community trying to protect their property.”

Brown said people need to “use their heads”.

“There is a lot of heat,” Brown said. “There is a lot of passion. There is a lot of frustration. There are a lot of things that are frustrating people. There is a lot of fear out there. Protest with a purpose and peacefully. If you don’t have a purpose to protest and a message to protest with, stay home.”

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