Free The People WNY


Enough is enough. The people are mobilizing and need your support. We are in need of materials, bail money and anything else to protect us. To contribute to efforts towards the fight to defund the police please donate through $FreeThePeopleWNY or Venmo: @FreeThePeopleWNY


Coalition members are primarily organizations and some individual organizers who are working on a campaign or providing services for those impacted by any aspect of the criminal justice system, and aligns with the coalition mission and principles. Others who align with our principles but don’t fall into one of these categories are welcome to work with the coalition in various capacities, but can’t be listed as official members.

Join us at one of our monthly meetings, on the first Thursday of every month at 3 pm. Contact us by emailing to receive the meeting info. If you are interested in becoming a coalition member, please fill out a membership form.

Want to dig into the work for justice at the state, county or city level? Join a Working Group!

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Police Oversight: Toolkit

Police Oversight: Toolkit

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Pass The BPD Oversight Law

The Buffalo Police Advisory Board has submitted draft legislation to the Common Council to establish a new oversight board that would hold police accountable. The new body would be composed of community members only, and would have the power to subpoena power to investigate complaints and, most importantly, a process for making sure police are disciplined or fired for misconduct.


1. The Common Council should pass into law the recommended oversight structure proposed by the Buffalo Police Advisory Board 

2. The Council should bring the draft legislation up for discussion in the Legislation Committee 

3. The Council should vote on the law before   

4. Mayor Brown should publicly support the law, include pieces of the legislation in his Police Union negotiations and rapidly sign it after it is passed by the Council. 

Commission On Community
Police Oversight

Composed of:

  • 5 community members elected at-large
  • 5 community members appointed by BPAB
  • 1 chairperson elected by the other 10


  • Receive complaints about police
  • Fully investigate complaints using subpoena power
  • Issue disciplinary recommendation to Disciplinary Committee (3 BPAB members)
  • Disciplinary Committee accepts recommendations from Commission & Police Commissioner and issues decision
  • Funded by 1% of police-related budget lines

Buffalo Police
Advisory Board

Composed of:
11 community members

New powers:

  • Approve or reject new BPD policy
  • Set new BPD policy with Council approval
  • Select candidates for police commissioner
  • Have subpoena power
  • Review and hold hearing on police budget
  • Require annual report from Police Commissioner
  • Funded by 1% of police-related budget lines

Independent - Elected

Civilian - Community, not cops or politicians

Oversight - real consequences


Why Does This Matter?

During COVID one of the only way elected officials hear from their representatives are by phone, email and social media, so this is how city legislatures hear from YOU what matters to YOU.

Call, Email, And Tweet At The Common Council And Mayor Brown!

Select your council Member:

District Representative Phone Number Email Twitter Handle
Masten District
Ulysees Wingo
(716) 851-5145
Ellicott District
Darius Pridgen
(716) 851-4980
Fillmore District
Mitch Nowakowski
(716) 851-4138
University District
Rasheed Wyatt
(716) 851-5165
Niagara District
David Rivera
(716) 851-5125
South District
Christopher Scanlon
(716) 851-5169
Delaware District
Joel Feroleto
(716) 851-5155
Lovejoy District
Bryan Bollaman
(716) 851-5151
North District
Joseph Golombek
(716) 851-5116
All Districts
Council Staff
(716) 851-5105
Mayor’s Office
Byron Brown
(716) 851-4866* (Executive assistant)

Sample Script

Hi, Councilman/Mayor ________. My name is _______ and I live in the _____ district and I’m contacting you regarding oversight of the Buffalo Police Department.  

In just the last 3 months we saw Buffalo police officers beat Quentin Suttles, tackle Myles Carter and push Martin Gugino to the ground, and yet all of these officers are still on the force being paid with our tax dollars. It’s clear that the police department isn’t willing to discipline its own officers, and the existing review board isn’t working. We need an independent civilian oversight board with real power to hold police accountable! I’m calling to ask you to publicly support the legislation put forward by the Buffalo Police Advisory Board, with no changes. Please bring this legislation up for discussion in the next Legislation Committee, bring it to a vote and vote YES. Thank you for your time.  

Sample Tweets

  • • The whole world saw it right in front of City Hall – Buffalo cops are out of control. Reign them in with independent civilian oversight as proposed by the BPAB! @BFLO_CC @MayorByronBrown
  • • Soooo @BFLO_CC are you going to take action on this legislation or just table it and hope we forget? (Spoiler: We won’t). See here.
  • • @BFLO_CC We need an independent civilian oversight board with real power to hold police accountable, support the legislation put forward by BPAB, no changes.
  • • Who polices the police? At the moment, no one @BFLO_CC & @MayorByronBrown support the independent civilian oversight as proposed by the BPAB.