The Stokes Memo
by Geoff Kelly - posted 5:39 pm, September 14, 2009
During his segment on WBEN this morning, developer Carl Paladino said he’d learned that Leonard Stokes had been pulled over by two Buffalo police officers last July in relation to a drug investigation in the Fruit Belt.
Well, not quite.
The two officers—Mark Swaggard and Mike DeLong—were warned to stay away from Stokes. Paladino claimed to have a copy of the memo telling them to stay clear: That’s it to the right.
As you can see, the subject of the memo is identified only as “Stokes.” Turns out it’s not Leonard. It’s his brother, Lamar.
The author of the memo indicates that the order to stay away from Lamar came from Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson, as the result of a complaint made to Mayor Byron Brown. Lamar apparently complained that the officers had stopped him twice, hit him in the head, and thrown his belongings on the ground.
Paladino said on the radio this morning that disciplinary charges were filed against the two officers, but the charges were later dropped. DeGeorge confirmed that there had been an investigation of the incident, and the two officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.
We asked BPD spokesman Mike DeGeorge to comment. In essence, DeGeorge confirmed that the BPD had conducted an investigation and that the officers were cleared.
So it would seem that this memo is something of a canard: It’s not about Leonard Stokes.
Why did Leonard’s brother, Lamar Stokes, address his complaint to the mayor? What did the mayor say to the police commissioner? We also sent an email to the mayor’s spokesman, Peter Cutler, with a copy of the memo. He has not responded to that email yet, but when he does, I’ll post his response here.