BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Lawmakers in the City of Buffalo want answers on the status of a federal lawsuit against a police captain.
That lawsuit makes serious accusations that police higher-ups did nothing in response to racist comments toward Black officers.
City lawmakers requested that city lawyers provide an update on the lawsuit Tuesday in Council Chambers. That happened in executive session.
Late last year, two Black Buffalo police officers and a mental health clinician, who is also Black, filed a federal lawsuit against Buffalo police captain Amber Beyer — claiming she repeatedly made racist comments to them while on the job.
The suit also claims police higher ups did nothing to stop this alleged behavior.
The officers and the clinician say Beyer went on a 20-minute rant saying Black men cheat on their wives more than white men and that white police officers get PTSD from working in Black neighborhoods, among other claims.
Council Member Rasheed Wyatt says because this matter was held in executive session, he can’t disclose what city lawyers told him.
“We wanted to be more proactive in this especially because of the sensitivity didn’t find out where we were and so we got that information it wasn’t a lot of information but it was an hour long conversation so we’re hopeful that things will move somewhat rapidly so hopefully they can come with some close to it,” Wyatt said.
The lawsuit is claiming damages in excess of $40 million. Lawmakers are concerned about possibly having to pay out damages, which would be paid for by taxpayers.
“Within their ranks to have something like this it’s rather explosive, so we’re hopeful again that this will proceed in an expeditious way that justice will prevail and I think that Corporation Counsel understands our sentiments that we want to be informed,” Wyatt said.
According to court documents, a lengthy timeline has been approved by a federal judge to see this lawsuit play out into the year 2024.
After the lawsuit was filed, Beyer was suspended without pay and now she’s suspended with pay per union contract.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.