When it comes to how the city of Buffalo has handled arresting and charging rioters, it turns out very few made their full way to trial. Cases like a woman running over police officers with her SUV are prioritized in their importance for legal accountability. Moments like that caught viral attention on social media as the world watched widespread unrest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
According to Buffalo News, forty-seven out of fifty-seven arrests made during George Floyd / BLM riots in the summer of 2020 have been either dismissed or “given adjournments” and are being considered for dismissal. Very few have gone all the way through court proceedings.
When it comes to cases that actually see proper justice, the outlet mentions a few standouts.
- Courtland M. Renford: Recently sentenced to five years in prison for throwing a fiery laundry basket through a City Hall window, amid other assorted looting on May 30th 2020. He already pleaded guilty to federal rioting charges and faces another round of arson and burglary charges next month. Reports say he tried to change his appearance after the fact.
- Daniel D. Hill: Looted a liquor store during the May 2020 riot season but managed to get into a “nonviolent felony offender” program for pleading guilty to a felony. If Hill completes the program without any hassle, he can withdraw his felony guilty plea, and take it down to a misdemeanor. More about the “U-CAN ERIE” program is available here.
- Deyanna Davis: Accused of driving her SUV into three police officers during riots on June 1st 2020. Faces charges of first-degree assault, had state charges of attempted murder, assault, and aggrivated assault, and the other passengers in the car face a litnany of weapons charges.
- Joanna Gollnau: Pleaded guilty to a traffic violation after hitting a bicyclist in September 2020 during protests outside City Hall. Ended up having to pay $200.
- Keyondre Robinson: Pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer during the May 2020 riots. He faces a year of supervised release for throwing a water bottle at one of them, during protests outside the Robert H. Jackson Federal Courthouse.]
- Michael Cremen: Faces a hate crime charge for shouting a racial slur at a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in August 2020. But he has since moved away to Arkansas, and had to switch lawyers. But Cremen is showing up to his court appearances. “Cremen was indicted on charges of second-degree menacing as a hate crime, as well as second-degree harassment.”
- Samuel Mara: a BLM protester who threatened to assassinate the Mayor in June 2020 got declared legally insane. Federal prosecutors are trying to work around that by getting a second opinion from other professionals, unless Samuel pleads guilty to a misdemeanor.
In recent weeks, the issue of bail reform has become a political issue again as businesses on the west coast saw targeted campaigns of looting.