A Buffalo police captain accused of delivering a racist rant at police headquarters in May has been suspended without pay.
Two Buffalo police officers and a mental health specialist filed a lawsuit in federal court on Nov. 21, alleging Captain Amber Beyer — head of the department’s Behavioral Health Team — made a series of offensive remarks in the team’s offices at police headquarters.
Among the things she is alleged to have said:
- Black officers are more likely to be unfaithful to their spouses than white officers.
- All the male Black officers she knew cheated on their wives.
- White police officers suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from working in Black neighborhoods, but Black officers do not, because they were more accustomed to violent crime.
- Black officers should try to understand how Black people’s criminality justified some racism on the part of whites.
- She’d be suspicious if she saw a Black man in her neighborhood.
Investigative Post broke the story of the lawsuit last week.
Our partners at WGRZ reported Beyer’s suspension Thursday evening.
#BREAKING Just confirmed Buffalo Police Capt. Amber Beyer has been SUSPENDED by commissioner. She’s subject of lawsuit & @BPDAlerts internal affairs probe due to allegations she made racist rants to black coworkers. Here’s background from @ipostnews https://t.co/Qs7O4pBCs4 @WGRZ pic.twitter.com/yFLEwhnI9N
— Michael Wooten (@wgrzMichael) December 2, 2022
Police department spokesman Michael DeGeorge confirmed Friday morning that Beyer had been suspended without pay.
In her absence, DeGeorge wrote in a text message to Investigative Post, Deputy Commissioner for Operation Alphonso Wright will oversee day-to-day operations of the Behavioral Health Team.
According to the lawsuit, at least one witness to Beyer’s alleged rant filed a complaint with the department’s Internal Affairs Division shortly after the incident, which took place May 11.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim Beyer subsequently harassed and retaliated against the officers who filed the complaint.
In September, she allegedly read aloud to her team — including the officers who filed the complaint — a Facebook post that frequently used a racial epithet, emphasizing the word each time she came to it. When one of the officers asked her to say “the N word” instead, according to the lawsuit, she refused.
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Two weeks ago, Investigative Post broke the story that a retired Buffalo police lieutenant testified in a separate lawsuit that he and “probably every officer” used “the N word” in interactions with Black citizens.
DeGeorge would not tell Investigative Post the exact date Internal Affairs began investigating the complaint against Beyer. The initial incident took place almost seven months ago.
Under the terms of the police contract, Beyer can only be suspended without pay for 30 days. After that, the city must either fire her or resume paying her, whether she remains suspended or returns to active duty.
Earlier this week, Geoff Kelly discussed his recent reporting on allegations on the Buffalo Police Department with WBFO’s David Debo. Give a listen.