Buffalo police declare dollar store break-ins a top priority in wake of deadly blizzard

DERBY, NY - DECEMBER 27: Wendy Aeh makes her way along Lake Shore Road avoiding large piles of snow on December 27, 2022 in Derby, New York. The historic winter storm Elliott dumped up to four feet of snow on the area leaving thousands without power and twenty eight confirmed dead in the city of Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)

Emergency services were understaffed and there weren’t enough plows for the city of Buffalo. All over Twitter, people are reporting that the surrounding wealthier towns had their roads cleared while Buffalo residents were still snowed in. More than 1 in 4 Buffalo residents live in poverty, and go figure, Buffalo is under-resourced … for some purposes, anyway:


The State Police have them, but not enough to service the entire City of Buffalo in an emergency. Much of the equipment currently in use here was shipped in (during the storm) form places like Nassau County and Monroe County. Why doesn’t Buffalo already have it? 8/25

— Nate McMurray (@Nate_McMurray) December 28, 2022

Within Buffalo, the neighborhoods dominated by people of color are further underresourced:


The East Side (which is about 85% people of color, where the City of Buffalo is 40%, and Erie County is only about 13%) hasn’t been plowed right for years. Former Mayor Griffin once said that he neglected plowing the East Side because people elsewhere “need to get to work.” 12/25

— Nate McMurray (@Nate_McMurray) December 28, 2022

With many Buffalo streets still unplowed, the police have gone to work—on punitive measures. As of Tuesday Buffalo still had a travel ban in place, while surrounding communities were just under a travel advisory. Not only local police but National Guard military police and state troopers were being put into place to ticket people violating the travel ban, i.e., people trying to leave after days trapped in places that might not be safe or secure, or might lack adequate food.

And the local police were all about investigating those dollar store thefts. “Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the department has had to divert resources away from recovery missions because the crime that is occurring cannot be ignored,” WKBW reported.

”Cannot be ignored” is of course a statement of values. What the police are really saying is that they are there to protect businesses, not people in need of help. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s still a shocking brazen admission of priorities.

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By dreamer_live

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