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Too many city streets are not safe

Police at crime scene

I worked my occasional shift Sunday covering the police beat and was reminded anew of how violent the city can be. The happenings of Saturday night and Sunday morning were scarier than what I've seen in some time, and it wasn't confined to the neighborhoods where the mayhem tends to be concentrated.

No, East Side, North Side, it was all around the town. This follows the fatal shooting little more than a week ago at Merge Restaurant, pictured above.

Three episodes this past weekend involved large groups of young men congregating on street corners.

In one instance, someone in a gang of 10 in Ken-Bailey took at shot at a cop who had pulled one of the crew aside for questioning.

In another instance, someone in another group of 10 hanging in Black Rock took at shot at a woman driving down a side street off Hertel Avenue.

In a third episode, a crew of 15 to 17 men went to a house in Northeast Buffalo and ordered someone off their block -- and cut his face to drive home the point.

Elsewhere, someone walking down Niagara Street got shot in the ankle and two stores along Elmwood Avenue were the targets of robbers claiming to have guns.

One bad Saturday night does not make a trend. But the police reports I read confirm what FBI statistics showed the last time they were released, that violent crime is up in the city.

It's little wonder. Too many thugs hanging around street corners, too many guns within easy reach.

Meanwhile, the search to replace H. McCarthy Gipson as police commissioner has yet to begin. Judging by what I read in police reports over the weekend, the search can't start soon enough.


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Buffalo police, crime
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