As partners in the former School #77, PUSH Buffalo, Peace of the City, and Ujima Co., Inc., awoke to news this morning that a member of our community was involved in a fatal shooting with Buffalo police on the 400 block of Plymouth Avenue. News reports have indicated that police officers fired the fatal shots.

As a social justice organization with deep roots in the West Side community, we believe this kind of police violence is wholly unwarranted and in this instance has resulted in a loss of life that will have incalculable consequences for families, neighbors, community members, and relations with local law enforcement.

As we await further information we stand in solidarity with our community and all of those affected by this tragic loss. We are fully committed to working with our community to continue building pathways towards collective healing and transformative justice.

We demand cooperation and accountability from the police. And we demand justice for the individual who was gunned down.

This incident has directly impacted several community members who currently work for or serve our organizations in different capacities.

“We do the work we do because of what’s happening in our community. We need more than candlelight vigils. We need to be proactive, take a stand, and force our elected officials to hold police accountable.

This is the third fatal police involved shooting in recent years to have happened on the West Side,” said Brenda Miller, Lead Community Organizer at PUSH Buffalo.

“Police are trained one way and then when incidents like this occur they demonstrate an ability to act in other ways with little to no respect for people in our communities. The victim was my cousin.  He was family. He was like a son to me,” said Annie Morivivi, PUSH Buffalo Board member.