The Guardian Angels
When crime fighters who wore red berets appeared on the mean streets of Buffalo in the early 1980s, people wanted to know more about the young crime fighters calling themselves the Guardian Angels. Their leaders, Curtis and Lisa Sliwa, invited WIVB-TV reporter Rich Newberg and photographer Mike Mombrea Jr. to cover the group's activities in the Bronx, where they began organizing subway safety patrols in 1979. Newberg got an up close and personal view of the Sliwas, who lived in poverty on Manhattan's Lower East Side. They lived on $9,000 dollars in 1982 and didn't own a car or have life insurance. They called their apartment "The Roach Motel." Yet they were effective in organizing chapters in big cities including Toronto and Cleveland. Sliwa was shunned by Buffalo Mayor Jimmy Griffin when he accused city officials and police of taking payola in the areas of prostitution and drug dealing. Griffin said Sliwa could not produce evidence that this existed. Interviews include Buffalo Police Commissioner James Cunningham, Curtis and Lisa Sliwa.
Originally aired on WIVB-TV.
Rich Newberg Reports Collection
WIVB (Television Station : Buffalo, N.Y.)
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (publisher of digital)
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