BUFFALO, NY - "About 700 members of Buffalo's African-American community tonight shared their grievances with Buffalo News Editor Margaret Sullivan over an Aug. 22 article on the criminal backgrounds of victims of the shooting at the City Grill three weeks ago," Harold McNeil reported for the Buffalo News.
"The forum, held in True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St., was one that Sullivan had requested following negative reaction to the report.
"Many in the crowd expressed outrage that the police records of the shooting victims were reported at all. They called the report a gross departure from how The News traditionally treats crime victims and that it was disrespectful to the victims, their families and the African-American community.
" 'I feel that we were victimized twice,' said Cheryl Stevens, mother-in-law of Danyelle Mackin, one four victims who was killed in the shooting.
"She was one of four family members of the victims invited to address Sullivan during the forum.
" 'What you did to us was you poured salt on the wounds that had not even healed. So, I'm asking — and this is for all the families — we want an apology,' added Stevens."
Sullivan said she was there to listen and said, "I also hope that we can now start a healing process where we can move this conversation forward, and I think that we've actually taken some steps to do that by agreeing to have some meetings and to do some research about what The Buffalo News prints about the African-American community."
The Sunday front-page article, published less than a day after the final funeral in the massacre, began:
"Eight young people who grew up on Buffalo's streets were gunned down in a hail of bullets last weekend outside City Grill downtown, four of them fatally.
"They left grieving families. Mournful friends.
"And arrest and conviction records.
"Their records indicating past or present associations with crime begets a certain lifestyle risk, law enforcement and criminology experts say."
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