Police supporters debate Buffalo police raid that killed Sgt. Aljoe’s dog

If pictures tells a thousand words, maybe these pictures of US Army Sergeant First Class Gary Aljoe will tell a story. That and the search warrant Buffalo Police used to invade the retired veteran’s home and kill his German Shepherd.

On Dec. 21, 2016, Buffalo Narcotics police executed the search warrant at his home on 85 Ullman St. in Buffalo.

Based on a tip from their ‘snitch’, Buffalo Police Lieutenant Sean O’Brien and Detective Shawn Adams told Chief Judge of Buffalo City Courts, the Hon. Thomas Amodeo, that a man lived there who was selling heroin and marijuana. Whether or not the judge asked, the name of this alleged drug dealer is unknown. The warrant – as you can see – suggests police did not know his name or his age, race, height or weight. Where a name ought to be, there is nothing more than FNU, LNU — (First Name Unknown, Last Name Unknown). In a world where there is due process that should have raised an eyebrow.


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But Ullman St. is not an affluent neighborhood.

It’s not like Nottingham Terrace.

Any poor man whose house got invaded on Ullman St. ought to be poor enough to not raise a row.

His house can be invaded – on as little as what is contained in the Dec. 15th search warrant signed by the judge which allowed the invasion by police of the home of “FNU, LNU” (First Name Unknown; Last Name Unknown).

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Imagine the judge signing off on a similar warrant for LeBrun or Nottingham Terrace.

Therefore, duly authorized, the SWAT of Buffalo Police Narcotics officers raided the Ullman St. home, and encountered Sgt. Gary Aljoe – who they took for a poor old nobody – and they shot his German Shepherd in the head.

There was no heroin or marijuana in the house.

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They did arrest his son, Garret Aljoe, 33, an employee at a local pizzeria, for some residue of cocaine in a baggie.

As we reported earlier, Sgt. Aljoe was a hero of 9-11-2001.

He arrived a few days after the terrorist attack and stayed to clean up the mess for four months.

He worked amid the toxic dust from collapsed towers and decaying bodies and fires that burned steadily for months. Today he suffers from the aftermath of that.

So we published his story online and in print and we posted the story on Facebook.

Some of the comments were to the point:

“Police could not care less about who lives in what houses. Poor people are just target practice for today’s militarized police. As long as they don’t start indiscriminately raiding the homes of the rich, the police can pretty much do as they wish in America.”

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Some comments showed people thought this is about money:

“They get money to SWAT raid. Having a SWAT unit that sits around doing nothing is not productive. They need to raid and kill.”

Some suggested that if people “started fighting back, cops wouldn’t be so fast to kick down a door. Maybe the judge should be hung for signing a warrant without proper information. SWAT was supposed to be for hostage and high risk situations, not pot.”

And others thought the local police were to blame: “Buffalo is one of the worst PDs in the country for getting it wrong and killing pets. The reputation of being homegrown terrorists is well earned by these crooked cops.”

But the police defenders also commented.

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JKR asked us, “Where are your sources on this story? Why does this paper have such hate for the Buffalo PD? Do you even realize how hard their job is? Your stories are terrible and one sided.”

But M.R. rebutted: “Speaking up about an injustice automatically means your against the BPD??? I disagree, wrong is wrong, but I support the BPD and hope that they can work to improve their policies.”

JKR argued right back: “I just think that all the facts are not represented properly in this article and it’s very one sided….”

MM rebutted: “So what facts were not represented properly in this article???? 1) BPD asks for warrant to a home on the word of a ‘snitch’ w/o doing any surveillance, googling, etc.. and even more ludicrous the Judge gives it to them!!  2) BPD shoots an innocent dog in the head at point blank range  3) BPD never ask for ID from the occupants; they just vandalize the entire home, finding .25 cents worth of residue  4) BPD leaves w/ man in handcuffs boasting about shooting & murdering an innocent family member…  There is NOTHING right about ANY of this😢😡

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“I  truly hope… -that you, me and anyone else reading this doesn’t have someone who is angry enough to tell the police one of us is a drug dealer & they raid one of our homes in the middle of night, God forbid, harming any of our loved ones. And to add insult to injury; this man Served our Country, Served at Ground Zero and was just living quietly with his son and his best friend.  Shame on BPD and that Judge and that snitch and anyone else who believes any of this is OK …”

JKR was not convinced: “,,, Law enforcement has no idea what they’re walking into when they do these searches. Animals become aggressive when they feel that their owners are in danger. Its an unfortunate circumstance but if a dog is interfering with a search what other choice do they have? It is natural for dogs to get that way. Artvoice have you seen the affidavit that was presented to the judge that supposedly shown probable cause? I find it hard to believe that a judge would sign off on a warrant with no actual information on the suspect. If this is the case why is there not more emphasis on the judge … rather than …the PD.

“In this case you have a 30-something year old man living at home with his father working at a pizzeria and dabbling in recreational drugs which is still illegal. …  You have downplayed this information…. Even though they only found a dime bag they still found evidence of drugs. If you’re hanging out with people that are being looked at for selling drugs … they’re going to point the finger to someone else that they know is doing drugs. Don’t hang out with that type of crowd and this stuff won’t happen. It’s just unfortunate that his father was caught in the cross hairs but I guess that’s what happens when you have your 30 something year old son still living at home working at a pizzeria with a coke problem. Coming from a family of law enforcement and hearing what they have to go through … on a daily basis makes their job one of the most difficult. They have to make decisions on the fly. Are they always the right ones? …no. There is a huge heroin problem in Western NY…  If they get a tip they have to act on it. It’s the only way they’re going to crack down on this problem. … It’s unfortunate that innocent people have to suffer but as of right now there’s no other way around it….”

A response came from AG: “Your logic is so faulty on this one JKR. You make reference to the son having a ‘coke problem’, and you immediately blame dad for being associated with him. How do you know he has a problem? The amounts found on him were miniscule. Is it because he is 30, and lives at home? Is it because he works at a pizzeria? How do you know that dad isn’t trying to help him by keeping him close, and giving him a home to live in? Do the son’s actions constitute a raid on the home & execution of the family dog?

8soldier“Unfortunately (police) are putting their lives in danger, and innocent people/animals are being terrorized & murdered as we fight this never ending ‘War on Drugs’. How do you think this heroin epidemic began? In the streets? More like the Purdue Pharma lab. Perhaps, we should start raiding the homes of the pharmaceutical executives who worked hard to flood the market with legal opioids. Perhaps we should terrorize their family members, and execute their pets because they are “evil drug pushers” …
“The number one thing, in my opinion, would be to stop treating drugs as a criminal problem, and start looking at them as a public health issue. This will make cops safer, take the profits away from cartels, and end the stigmatization of sick people. …. What is your answer to the problem?”

HKS came to JKR’s defense:  “If you have a savage, angry dog preventing the police from protecting the public from predatory drug dealers like this guy (Sgt. Aljoe) then the dog must be eliminated.  The guy worked in a pizza parlor. That is not going to pay the bills. Of course he was slinging dope. After 37 yrs (Sergeant Aljoe) only reached the rank of Sgt…..loser. stopping at Sgt …..smh”.

We chimed in only to correct the mistake: “The young man working in the pizza parlor was the son of the army sergeant. … the rank of Sergeant First Class… is a senior non-commissioned officer…”

HKS: The article clearly states that a baggie with residue was found. He merely failed to clean up. You always support those with ‘alternative’ lifestyles. Why is that? Oh…that’s right….HIPPA prevents people from knowing about a certain persons sero status. As well as his orientation.

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