Common Council seeking to crack down on 'immoral' misuse, resale of East Side donations
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Common Council wants to crack down on those who may be profiting from the pain on the East Side specifically when it comes to donations.
They say neighbors have seen people re-selling items that were handed out for free following the shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops.
The massive outpouring of support since May 14 has meant alleged bad actors have had more opportunities to take advantage.
"There are folks who are exploiting the pain of our community there are folks who are exploiting the massacre on the 14th and because of this it's caused an outcry in our community from eyewitnesses," said Masten District Councilmember Ulysees Wingo Tuesday.
Wingo said he started by warning stores and people who might be doing this on social media but after receiving as many as twenty calls he started looking at other options to stop the "immoral" act.
"Folks are going and taking advantage of the free food that's being given away, the free food that has been given and is intended to be consumed for free, the free food that was intended to make a broken community whole again," Wingo said.
The Buffalo Common Council drafted two resolutions during their regular meeting Tuesday and instructed city lawyers to find out if an ordinance could be written to make it so stores that are reselling donated items can be ticketed or fined by inspectors. It was unclear if the act of reselling such items was already illegal.
Councilmembers Rasheed Wyatt and Council President Darius Pridgen added that while the council doesn't want to wrongly accuse anyone the sheer number of complaints from neighbors warranted a response.
"So some information is going to be right some information is going to be wrong but at least people are starting, they're taking ownership of their communities and they're angry when they see or even think that someone is taking advantage," Council President Darius Pridgen said.
Wingo explained that one way certain donation efforts have been able to get around people misusing donations is by marking products that are given away. If items are later found being sold in a store or elsewhere they can be traced back to the donation site.