Lawsuit alleging discriminatory traffic enforcement by the BPD seeks go-ahead from federal court

June 7, 2024

...A 2018 lawsuit alleging discriminatory traffic enforcement practices by the Buffalo Police Department is seeking the go-ahead from the federal court to proceed as a class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit against the City of Buffalo claims that the BPD “has unlawfully targeted Black and Latino motorists for aggressive, punitive traffic enforcement,” through police checkpoints, ticketing practices and traffic stops - violating the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act in the process.

The claimants are seeking restitution for thousands of Black and Latino drivers stopped by the BPD.

According to the lawsuit, the BPD ticketed Black and Latino drivers for minor traffic violations with the aim of creating revenue for the city - all with the “full knowledge of the city’s highest leadership.”

The case further alleges that officers were urged to issue tickets and conduct traffic stops in majority Black and Latino neighborhoods through “an implicit quota system."

The suit was first filed in June 2018 on behalf of the Buffalo-based plaintiffs Black Love Resists in the Rust by the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Western New York Law Center, and the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP...

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Last modified 

June 7, 2024