Jun 24


Mayor skedaddles when protesters approach

Brown quickly fled in a cop car when demonstrators demanding reform of the police department marched down his street

Donald Trump fled to a bunker in the basement of the White House earlier this month when protesters rallied in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Mayor Byron Brown did him one better tonight when he fled in a police car when a group of about 70 protesters began marching down his street.

Our Ali Ingersoll was taping the march. Here’s what she recorded and posted on Twitter.

You can view Ingersoll’s complete Twitter feed of the tonight’s demonstration here.

The marchers began at Niagara Square and started walking up Delaware Avenue, then North Street, and then Elmwood Avenue. Ingersoll said they then made an impromptu decision to head to the mayor’s house, located near Canisius College in the Hamlin Park neighborhood.

About five uniformed officers were awaiting the marchers about 8:30 p.m. on the mayor’s street. Several houses before demonstrators reached Brown’s residence, marching behind a banner that read “Defund BPD,” the mayor emerged from his house and officers quickly escorted him into a police car and drove off.

Five additional squad cars, and possibly some plain clothes officers, subsequently showed up. Ingersoll said interaction between the police and protesters got heated for a couple of minutes and then calmed down. Demonstrators continued to march – not disturbing Brown’s property, Ingersoll said – and eventually made their way back to Niagara Square.

Police sources told Ingersoll the mayor made plans to spend the night at a downtown hotel.

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Brown has raised the ire of some in the activist community for what they say is his tepid package of police reforms he is starting to implement. Others, however, have termed them a good start, while maintaining more needs to be done.

The demonstration followed the arrest of 13 activists camped out at Niagara Square about 1 a.m. Wednesday by about 40 police officers. The misdemeanor arrests on came just hours before the department implemented a new policy that mandates that people arrested on non-violent misdemeanor charges be issued an appearance ticket rather than being taken to the police department’s booking facility for processing.

The timing of the arrests resulted in the 13 being taken to central booking, where some demonstrators told Investigative Post they were held for about five hours before being released.

Ingersoll said the arrests seemed to energize protesters Wednesday evening, who told her they plan to re-occupy Niagara Square. Most of the 13 people arrested participated in the march that passed Brown’s house, she said.

Read more of our reporting on police misconduct

Investigative Post

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