Walton supporter criticizes newspaper over recent media coverage

Grant accuses The Buffalo News of lying about the Democratic mayoral candidate in a recent article

BUFFALO, NY – “In this country you are innocent until proven guilty. Miss Walton was treated like a criminal. She was treated as if she was guilty.

That was longtime activist Betty Jean Grant’s assessment of a recent Buffalo News article on Buffalo mayoral candidate India Walton.

The story that came out on Monday recounted Walton’s forced departure in 2018 from a house she was renting in the city’s Fruit Belt neighborhood. At issue, a neighbor complained that a friend of Walton’s was using the house to sell drugs. The article points out that the friend was never arrested and that the story relies on a few anonymous sources.

“If you can complain about a problem, you have to be brave enough to get your name printed,” said Grant, who led a late morning protest outside The Buffalo News building. A dozen and a half people were present for the demonstration. Grant was also a constant supporter of the Walton campaign.

But while Grant said the article was full of “half-truths, false statements and errors,” Walton’s campaign did not criticize the article when 2 On Your Side contacted him for comment. .

The Walton campaign made a brief statement including: “We are aware of the protest and humbled by the unwavering support from our neighbors. But the campaign insists there was no coordination with Grant over Wednesday’s protest.

This is not the first unflattering story about Walton. Last month, while being interviewed by Claudine Ewing of 2 On Your Side, Walton discussed her arrest in 2014 related to a protection order filed against her by a nurse she worked with at the time.

“The things that come out of me regarding my past are not uncommon and it’s not something that says I’m a bad person. It’s something that says I’m an average person, ”Walton said in the interview.

But this and other critical stories have not been met with demonstrations.

When this was pointed out, Walton agreed to be interviewed for The Buffalo News story, Grant suggested it was a mistake from someone new to politics, “I think if she had to have a lawyer , she would have had someone like me there, I would tell her to be sure not to add fuel to a fire when there is nothing really beyond those initial embers.

2 On Your Side has also contacted the newspaper for comment. Editor-in-chief Michael Connolly replied:

“In election coverage, our job is to educate readers as much as possible about the candidates. In the Buffalo mayoral race, the news will continue to work hard to ensure voters have the best possible information about the candidates, their campaigns and their plans for Ox. “

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