Cop Block of Western New York Hits the Ground Running

On April 26th an email was sent from the founders of Cop Block of Western New York to us that said:

Cop Block of WNY (Western New York) is a new local group started up on Saturday, April 26th after videos of police brutality in Buffalo, NY had surfaced. Our goal is to raise awareness to incidents of police brutality and hopes of helping victims find some justice.

That same day – the 26th – a video was uploaded to the Cop Block of Western New York YouTube channel with the description:

On 24 April 2014, this video was uploaded in 2 parts on Facebook showing Buffalo Police using excessive force while apprehending 23 year old John Willet of Buffalo outside a store in the area of Ontario and Philadelphia Streets. It all started on the night of April 19th, when Willet was driving, he noticed a car was following him. Fearing that it may be someone meaning to do him harm, he sped away. The car following him turned out to be undercover police car, which pursued Willet to Ontario and Philadelphia Streets. Willet parked his vehicle, got out and ran across the street where he willingly surrendered. Willet reported that he stood there with his hands in the air when an officer punched him and threw him down to the ground. Shortly after that is where the video begins, you can see that officers kneed and punched Willet while trying to apprehend him. Towards the end, you can see an officer kicking and punching Willet while he was handcuffed and laying face down, pleading for them to stop. Willet was charged with resisting arrest and minor drug possession charges. This video has been sent to Buffalo Police and Mayor Byron Brown. Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda ordered an internal affairs investigation into the incident and all the police officers involved have been suspended for the duration of the investigation. Commissioner Derenda and Mayor Brown both said that they will not tolerate any misconduct or criminal activities involving police officers. We are currently waiting for the result of the internal investigation. Thank you to everyone who shared and spread this video around, it has received the attention of both the local media and some national attention.

A day later, the video was posted to blogs.buffalonews.com:

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That video – four days after being uploaded – now has 101,595 views.

Quit an impact that ultimately will help others see through the illusion and realize that justice can never come from coercion.

I look forward to see folks in the western NY area connect and create networks to support and share skills – such as the importance in filming all police interactions – your own and those who you don’t know. Capture the truth of the situation.

Connect with Cop Block of Western New York

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Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.