An upstate New York police officer has been suspended for allegedly refusing to investigate a call at a Planned Parenthood clinic due to a Black Lives Matter sign in the facility’s window, police and officials from the nonprofit organization said.
Staff at Planned Parenthood in West Seneca called cops Friday after a man kicked the clinic’s door while demanding to see his partner, who he believed was receiving treatment there, WKBW reports.
A West Seneca police officer who responded to the health care clinic then berated staffers upon noticing a Black Lives Matter sign in its window and left the building while refusing to investigate, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York said in a statement Wednesday.
“Planned Parenthood stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter because the movement demands change and strives to dismantle systemic racism,” the statement reads. “We know that systemic racism permeates every American institution: the criminal justice system, health care, housing and more.”
West Seneca police announced Monday that the officer had been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into his “demeanor” during the alleged incident, details of which were not released by the department.
“The West Seneca Police Department prides itself on its professional standards and being a strong community partner,” department officials said. “We support, and stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are working to make West Seneca a better place through positive change.”
Officials at the clinic said they were satisfied with the “swift disciplinary action” doled out to the unidentified officer.
“PPCWNY will continue to demand accountability, justice and an end to the inequity that continues to define every moment of life for Black America,” the organization’s statement continued.
Police, meanwhile, asked for patience as they investigate the incident while promising to “make corrective measures as the facts dictate,” the statement continued.
Accounts from witnesses at the clinic and other evidence were being reviewed as part of the investigation, town officials said.
“I have complete confidence in the ability of our police department to investigate the matter thoroughly,” West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson told WKBW in a statement. “If warranted, at the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken. Until then, I will have no further comment on the situation.”
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