Barricaded Man Taken into Custody in Police Stand-Off Shows Alarming Militarization of Lewiston Police

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OPINION

 

On Tuesday March 27th, 2018, police forced their way into the Plain St. home of a 34-year-old man who had barricaded himself inside.

 

Police Chief Frank Previte said the man was believed to be a military veteran suffering from mental health issues.

 

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office asked Village of Lewiston residents to shelter in place as State Police, Border Patrol, Lewiston Police, and the Niagara County Sheriff’s emergency response team flooded Plain Street.

 

The incident began after a 911 call which resulted in the caller hanging up. Chief Previte said that the man’s parents were standing outside of the home when police arrived at the scene.

 

Police made multiple attempts to contact him.

 

“We were trying to get a hold of him on his phone,” said Previte, “but we were unsuccessful.”

 

The police went so far as throwing the man a ‘drop phone.’

 

Officers finally entered the man’s home using a flash band device and took him into custody.

 

Chief Previte confirmed the man was not armed and no shots were fired by him or law enforcement.

 

“He was not discovered with a weapon,” said Previte, and “there was nothing in the home that concerned us.”

 

Most fascinating about the incident is – rightly or wrongly – the use of military type equipment by police.

 

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