Three times the charm, the saying goes. This is what charm looks like.
It would be bad enough, actually beyond bad enough, had this been all that one can point to when it comes to Buffalo Police Officer Robert Eloff’s exercise of power. You see, this man, Christopher Kozak, was beaten by mistake.
A cellphone video has surfaced that shows an innocent man walking out of a bar who is then jumped by several Buffalo cops.
The innocent man, Christopher Kozak, says he was seriously injured after being assaulted by Buffalo PD outside of Bottoms up on Chippewa Street.
The incident happened on St. Patrick’s Day right outside of the bar. Kozak had witnessed a skirmish inside and had just walked out when all of the sudden he is swarmed by Buffalo Cops.
And one of the cops who rushed a guy standing on the sidewalk, then beat the daylights out of him, was Eloff.
Kozak recognized one of the gang members who attacked him as officer Robert Eloff.
But what makes this special is that Eloff had been all over the Buffalo news for two prior incidents reflecting impropriety and excessive force.
Slapping the camera from the girl’s hand happened last April. and then there was May:
for an incident that occurred at Molly’s Pub in May, which left Air National Guardsman William Sager Jr. in critical condition with a severe brain injury.
He was ordered to give a DNA sample in that case because he is suspected of throwing the surveillance tape of the incident in the trash.
So it’s not like the Buffalo Police Department lacked forewarning that their cop, Robert Eloff, didn’t have some violence issues. William Sager’s brain injuries should have clued them in. Yet, here’s Eloff again, this time with Kozak.
Kozak has filed a notice of claim against Buffalo for the harm he suffered.
“Assault and excessive force, assault battery and excessive force against my client. I can not charge them with false arrest and malicious prosecution because they didn’t even charge my client,” said [Kozak's attorney, Ronald] Cercone.
“He was not involved. He ended up walking outside of Bottoms Up, turning around looking for his girlfriend, as you can see from the video he was in a nonthreatening, non-worrisome manner as he walked out when he was bum rushed by the police,” said his attorney.
But the question isn’t whether Kozak, who wasn’t arrested or charged after his beating, because, you know, oops, will eventually get a judgment or settlement. The question is how many lies can police supervisors tell themselves and the public when they persist in protecting dangerous cops.
People often speak of police as a gang of armed thugs, which usually elicits a shrug and easy dismissal as cop haters and nutjobs. There is, unfortunately, no other explanation for what happened to Kozak. And there is no excuse for the Buffalo police department to fail to address this violent thug in their midst.
Was Eloff fun to hang out in a patrol car? Did he buy the donuts? What possible reason could there be for not merely keeping this animal on the force, but not dealing with him as a criminal? The man is a danger, and, dear Buffalo police department apologists, he’s one of yours.