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Someone Murdered in Our Neighborhood
buffaloscan video crimefootage groundnews periscope
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Crime scene at Vernon Place and Fairfield in
Buffalo - Click for Periscope Video.

Update 12/24/18 12:30 PM

It's finally mainstream media news.

What a Christmas Sunday. Last night two Buffalo Police Department SUVs roared up Amherst Street on the left of our house with lights and sirens. I went to the police scanner but didn't tune in in time to hear what it was all about. Normally I'd be glued to the receiver waiting for something to tell me what was so dramatic but as it was we were decorating the tree and doing other festive stuff so I couldn't linger.

Some time later, maybe an hour or so, I notice a Facebook ping to a neighborhood group that I belong to. Someone was reporting that police and an ambulance were convening on Vernon Place, just up the street and around the corner. The same posters began to detail a grim series of details that culminated in the report of a murder. According to the poster, a man had just killed his mother.

There wasn't -- and at this time even, a full 10+ hours later, still isn't -- any confirmation of that. But the reported details were telling and one of the posters happened to be extremely well sourced. Unless five neighbors decided to get together and paint the picture of a non-existent murder for benefit of hoax, which of course is highly unlikely, someone did in fact get killed.

The hesitation in the media could be due to the timing around the Christmas holidays, although, since then, at least one other murder in South Buffalo has made the news...one that occurred many hours after this supposed one. That leads me to wonder if the police still haven't figured out exactly what happened. Maybe someone died but it wasn't a murder?

In any event I was compelled to break the story first as part of my Buffalo Scan initiative. You can see the Periscope broadcast above. In it I avoid giving out virtually any details as I have heard them to be from the Facebook postings because, well, Facebook conjecture. Whatever we eventually learn, no matter how actually a murder it was or not, it is certain something dramatic happened. Police tape is strung up around the entire area, and car traffic was blocked from using the street for over 3 hours.

Even now I will not put out all the information as I know it to be circulating. However I believe I know the names of the victim, the suspect, and the actual house address. And from all this, I understand it to be a tragedy that shouldn't happen ever, let alone over Christmas.

I will update this specific entry when (and if?) there are any updates as to exactly what happened.

From Detection to Capture
crimefootage video
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It's rare to get the whole enchilada on video like this. Not only does the Ring camera catch the prowling, someone edited in footage of the police intercept.

You might wonder, what do cops think about all these cameras? Most probably assume that they are excited about them because it helps identify perpetrators of crimes.

I myself, however, have always held the idea that they are actually nervous. Nervous about the influx of incoming calls to address creepers and porch pirates which, unfortunately, abound, and probably far exceed any one police department's surface response capabilities to such activity reported en masse. And, nervous about the plethora of other reasons, all covered fairly well in this Detroit Free Press article (warning: uncomfortable desktop web presentation).

Policing has always coped to some degree by selective attention that aligns with current resources. Cheap consumer cameras disrupt that order by exposing everything. As I know all too personally, people naturally expect that if clear images of bad guys are in hand, that police should be able to zero in on suspects immediately. Should be able to immediately canvas neighborhoods and possibly spot them still exiting communities (as happens to be the case in this video). And yet, the reality of resources is what it is.

My solution has been to create another path for the accumulation and presentation of such footage. Something that does not equal a mandate for police to exert, yet, at the same time, hones in commuity focus on bad actors whether they are criminally charged or not. That "solution" is the Crime Footage Index project which is an open web example of what many feel might just be another venue along with social media channels to show off footage from home "Ring-like" camera systems (I myself use Arlo).

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