Commentary: Should Buffalo Nightclub Owners Be Penalized for Crime?
It's 100% obvious that African-American NightClub Owners are not shooting or killing individuals in Buffalo. On the other hand, it's 100% obvious that it's a fraction of people in our Buffalo Community who are the ones responsible for the shootings and homicides that have specifically been reported in either close proximity to Nightclubs or inside of them within the City of Buffalo, in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. So why are Businesses being shut-down for crimes and criminals they have no control over?
I pose the question based upon the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Police Department consistently taking aim at nightclubs in the African-American Community and holding them accountable for the random acts of violence, shootings, and murders that take place, in or around their establishments, at the hands of a fraction of idiots who choose to commit crimes.
One could argue that the nature of business at nightclubs helps contribute to shootings and homicides due to alcohol being sold. Shutting these establishments down will deter any further homicides and decrease the amount of violence and shootings in Buffalo right? WRONG! If that's the mentality of the Buffalo Police Department and City Officials, then there should be no Liquor Stores allowed in the Inner City. One could argue that not only are the Liquor Stores responsible for contributing to violence, so are any other stores or businesses that sell alcohol, including restaurants that provide liquor for patrons.
Isn't Law Enforcement supposed to provide protection for not only citizens but businesses in Buffalo as well? If there are establishments whereas the threat of violence is higher than normal in certain areas, shouldn't the Buffalo Police Departmentment and The City of Buffalo realize this and anticipate problems to the extent that they provide an increased Police presence. When major events take place at Canalside, Key Bank Center, etc. there's a specific initiative to provide increased Police presence ... why not nightclubs who attract large crowds of people? Why penalize a business owner for criminal acts which they have no contrail over? Shouldn't the City and Buffalo Police take some responsibility for protecting not only the businesses who choose to do business in this city...but also that business's patrons? Business Owners pay taxes as well as any other citizens who expect to be protected from criminals...especially in high crime areas. If businesses are going to be shut-down due to violence in and around their establishments, should residents in those same areas be forced to move out of their homes and the neighborhoods shut-down because there's too much crime there?
You might say that regular everyday citizens, residing in their homes, do not contribute to criminalization. I say they do, based upon there being a large gathering of people living in these areas, in which the numbers alone contribute to the chance of there being an increased percentage of potential crime...so should the City limit the number of homes and people allowed in certain areas of Buffalo? No. The same reasoning should be used regarding nightclubs. A deterrent to crime at these establishments would be assistance from the very entity that allows these businesses to operate. Business owners are essentially clients of the City of Buffalo.
I personally know the Owners of The Groove Lounge and Kerns Bowling Center...two establishments that have had shootings recently...and both men are upstanding Businessmen who have toiled and worked hard to establish their places of business. Now one or two knuckleheads come along and commit crimes and they are to blame?
I strongly believe that businesses that are constructed and opened in the Inner City of Buffalo to provide a source of service or even entertainment for Buffalo residents should have the full support from the City of Buffalo and it's crime prevention entity called the Buffalo Police Department. Residents in Buffalo cannot prevent crime...why are business owners expected to...on their own?