Three Northeast District police officers are accused of using excessive force in arresting two Buffalo teenagers, one of them the son of a Buffalo police officer, after a BB gun drive-by shooting last year.
Two of the officers named in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court also are under investigation by the Buffalo Police Department's Internal Affairs Division for their alleged involvement in an unrelated late-night bar fight following a recent police awards dinner.
Northeast District Lt. Gregory Kwiatkowski and Officer Joseph Wendel are accused in the suit of assault, negligence and violating the civil rights of Jeffery E. Campbell II, the son of Police Officer Annette Parker, and a second teen, Donald J. Silmon. Officer Raymond Krug also is named in the suit.
Campbell, of Treehaven Road, and Silmon, of Winspear Avenue, were accused in the shooting in University Heights along with two other teenagers when arrested by Kwiatkowski, Wendel and Krug last May 31. Campbell and Silmon were 17 at the time of their arrests.
Reports that one of the three officers shot one of the teens in the leg with a BB gun are false, Kwiatkowski's attorney said.
Kwiatkowski, Wendel and two other Northeast District officers also are being investigated by Internal Affairs officers for allegedly attacking an off-duty transit police officer following a May 7 Buffalo Police Benevolent Association Awards Dinner, according to Buffalo police officials.
That off-duty Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority officer alleged he was punched when he tried to calm the four off-duty city officers, some of them dressed in their police uniforms, in a Lancaster tavern after he noticed other people photographing their rowdy behavior, authorities said.
Buffalo police officials Monday once again appealed to the public for any photographs or videos that were reportedly taken of the incident shortly before 2:45 a.m. May 8 in Page's Grill and Bar on Transit Road.
Andrew P. Fleming, the attorney who represents Kwiatkowski, disputed claims made in the teenagers' lawsuit, which is pending before U.S. District Judge William Skretny.
"There was a thorough investigation done by Lt. Kwiatkowski's chain of command as well as by Internal Affairs, and those investigations confirmed that there was no misconduct," Fleming said.
"The investigation also confirmed that the teenage boys were allegedly involved in a series of felonious events, and a best defense for them appears to be a switch to going on the offense accusing the officers of some of the same behavior that they were accused of."
Regarding the alleged bar fight, Fleming said he is looking into the allegations, but preliminary information indicates Kwiatkowski, who was dressed in civilian attire, had no role in the fight.