letter to the editor

To Who Ever Is Willing To Help... 

Dear Editor:

I am living in the City of Buffalo. We are suffering with poverty, a struggling educational system, out in the open street drug dealing, gunshots and a murder almost every day in the last couple of months.  I have become frustrated living in the city of Buffalo with no development or opportunity in the area I live in. 

I work every day and I take care of my house and my family. Living a law abiding life does not take away the fear of being linked with crime. We are all affected by the fear of stray bullets and the constant roadblocks on the east side of the city. 

The roadblocks I keep seeing by the Buffalo police are not helping the fight against crime. All I see is the police wasting time when they could be looking for those that commit crime. Thankfully, after being faced with policeduring the inspection, I haven’t received a ticket YET.  I’ve been throughthe roadblock thing almost a dozen times. All the times when I was stopped, the police cars had STRIKE FORCE on the side. Who is that and what do they do besides road blocks? 

It is aggravating that some of myfamily and neighbors and church members are being charged with traffic tickets, fines and towing fees on the east side of Buffalo –more than any other neighborhood in the city. Let's just say I doubt that happens in South Buffalo.  My elderly neighbors car was takento the impound for being in an accident. The officer told her that his policy would not allow for her to use her AAA membership to have her suv towed to a car shop. WHAT HAPPENED TO OFFICER FRIENDLY?  

The blight around Buffalo is in the inner city where the minority people live and then being pounced on by the police too. I keep hearing about it more and more. The struggling east side cannot move forward.  Downtown Buffalo has come a long way but at whose expense? 

I know the federal government did a study in Ferguson about police giving out fines for minor stuff, just to bring in moneyfor the city and arrest minorities. Is this what the Buffalo Police Department is about? Handing out tickets all day? Arresting people for small stuff? What about donating some of that ticket money to pay for the funerals of the people killed in the streets? We can’t pass these people off as gang members that some think deserve to die. A life is a life. No one should be shot dead in the street. These police roadblocks are not stopping the killings. 

Iknow police enforcement is NECESSARY,  but it does not have to be EVIL.  Tickets and tows equal cash for the city. It is unfair and painful to our already cash strapped “hood.” The Buffalo police attempt at cracking down on crime has failed. People in the city are being bullied by the police department. One night I stood in my yard and talked with a group of neighbors. We were complaining about the road block they faced as they were coming home from work. That day the road block was set up on one side of the Suffolk expressway and while they were there a person was shot and killed in the near by Langfield projects.  The police officers were standingthere when maybe they could have stopped a killer. Instead they had cars lined up for daily inspection. I bet this happens more than we know. Murders while road blocking. The police department is messed up.  I’ve seen this police commissioner Derenda on tv and all he says is what he thinks people want to hear, as the bodies pile up. And where are the peace makers people? They used to be all over the news now we just see a bunch of yellow shirts at the scene. Like I said before, if the leadership of the city is the Mayor and that Derenda, we are in a world of hurt for the ast side of town. We are paying in blood sweat tears.                                      

-Ms. Madelyn Smith