Say NO to Police in Community Centers

 
 

Dear Mayor Brown,

The criminalization of our young folks, particularly our young Black and Brown folks, has gone on for far too long. Buffalo children, teenagers and young adults deserve to feel safe when at home, at school, and when engaging in recreation.

It is unfortunate that violence and harm are a constant reality for our young folks- what happened outside the North Buffalo Community Center is incredibly unfortunate, folks were injured and a young man lost his life. But violence and tragedy are not reasons to further criminalize our young people. We are constantly shown how police officers escalate situations, at times, costing individuals their lives. It is troubling to think that the next phase of Buffalo’s proactive policing involves increasing patrols in and around community centers with the potential of them being entered into a “gang database” that will be shared with the FBI.

As school ends we can only expect and hope that our young folks will use and frequent our libraries, community centers and playgrounds- we don’t want them to have to interact with law enforcement because they are finding safe places to recreate and/ or participating in programming.

As a young person, I deserve to be joyful in my community spaces free from police.

As a parent, I will not be sending my children to centers willing to call police precincts when young folks are present.

As an organization, we will not be utilizing community centers that will comply with this rule for our programming, meeting or workshop needs.

As a community center we will not be complying with this rule.

Two young Black men share a laugh around a table full of papers

Two young Black men share a laugh around a table full of papers