Dozens of Buffalo cops quit in solidarity with two officers suspended for allegedly shoving 75-year-old to ground

| 06.06,20. 10:59 PM |




Dozens of Buffalo cops quit in solidarity with two officers suspended for allegedly shoving 75-year-old to ground


The man appears to have been knocked unconscious and blood can be seen coming from one ear. (WBFO)


Fifty-seven police officers in Buffalo, New York, have resigned from the force's emergency response team following the suspension of two officers who allegedly pushed a 75-year-old protester to the ground, a source close to the situation said Friday.

An investigation is underway in a protest incident Gov. Andrew Cuomo called "wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful." The man was seriously injured.

Video of the demonstration Thursday shows a row of officers walking toward the man and two pushing him. His head bleeds onto the sidewalk as officers walk past him, some looking down at him.

The demonstrators in Niagara Square were, like those across the country, calling for racial justice after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

The 57 officers resigned from the emergency unit but not from the force. The Buffalo mayor's office told CNN that the 57 members that resigned from the unit make up the entire active emergency response team.

A few members of the unit are out currently and are not included in the 57 that resigned, according to the mayor's office.

"Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders," Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president John Evans told WGRZ on Friday. WKBW also reported news of the resignations.

The man's identity, Martin Gugino, was confirmed by Cuomo's office. Gugino is hospitalised in serious but stable condition, authorities said.

An attorney representing Gugino released a statement saying Gugino is "alert and oriented" and described him as a longtime peaceful protester and human rights advocate.

"Mr. Gugino requests privacy for himself and his family as he recovers," said Kelly V. Zarone. "He appreciates all of the well wishes he has received and requests that any further protests continue to be peaceful."

Megan Toufexis, Gugino's niece, told CNN that her uncle attended the protest Thursday to discuss First Amendment rights with police.

Protests in the city continued into the evening Friday.

Buffalo mayor says officers should receive due process
Mayor Byron Brown said he wants the two suspended officers to get due process. "I am not calling for them to be fired."

Speaking of the injured man, the mayor said, "He was asked to leave numerous times last night."

Police felt that it was important to clear the area before fights broke out among the protesters, the mayor said. He stressed that the instructions from the police managers to officers was to be careful, protect residents and use common sense.

In response to questions about the emergency response team, Brown said that the city has a contingency plan. "Buffalo will be safe this weekend," he said. "We have a contingency plan, we always have a contingency plan."

CNN has reached out to police and the association for further comment. New York State Police say they are sending additional officers to the city following the resignations.

The demonstrators in Niagara Square were, like those across the country, calling for racial justice after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Based on the initial video, police issued a statement that said Gugino tripped and fell, police spokesman Mike DeGeorge told CNN.

After more videos became available, police amended that statement, and Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood suspended the officers without pay and opened an investigation, he said.

"The department moved swiftly" and "corrected" the information, DeGeorge said.

Brown called the incident "disheartening" and said his thoughts were with Gugino.

Prosecutors are investigating, the Erie County District Attorney's Office tweeted.

Gugino had a head injury and could not give a statement to investigators Thursday night, the tweet said.

Cuomo said the officers should be fired and prosecutors should move "fairly but quickly."

"When I saw the video, I got sick to my stomach," Cuomo said. "I would encourage the district attorney not to do what happened in Minneapolis, which the delay itself caused issues," said the governor, adding, "People don't want vaguery. They are upset and want answers."

Earlier on Twitter, he said, "This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful. ... Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law."

Cuomo said he spoke with Gugino.

"Thankfully he is alive," Cuomo said Friday at his daily news conference in Albany. "You see that video, and it disturbs your basic sense of decency and humanity."

Cuomo also called out attacks on police officers, saying, "You have incidents of police getting hit ??with bricks in the head. Who are we?"

9news


(Votes: 0)

Other News

Turkey, Libya to further cooperate in E.Med Murder charge upgraded for officer who kneeled on George Floyd's neck, three others charged Thousands march in London as the world is left shaken by violence in US Police drive into crowd as violence escalates in US over George Floyd's death Erdogan: Turkey nears end of virus outbreak Turkish president issues message for Muslims' Eid al-Fitr Pakistan plane crash leaves at least 80 dead, others missing after hitting homes in Karachi Carlos Ghosn: US arrests former soldier and son accused by Japan of helping former Nissan boss escape India, Bangladesh evacuate half a million people as villages brace for Cyclone Amphan US coronavirus death toll tops 90,000 Attack by Haftar in Libya can expect response: Turkey Kremlin spokesman hospitalized due to COVID-19 The Imperative of Extending the UN's Iran Arms Embargo Turkey saves 22 asylum seekers 'left to die' by Greece Libya: Haftar militias bomb Tripoli, 3 civilians killed Turkey enters second phase of fight against COVID-19 Watchdog concerned over ‘risky quarantine’ of Rohingya Jacinda Ardern will join Scott Morrison's national cabinet tomorrow to discuss a 'trans-Tasman bubble' that will allow travel to resume between Australia and New Zealand After weeks at sea, Rohingya sent to Bangladesh island Libyan army targets Haftar-affiliated Janjaweed militia Libyan government forces attack Haftar militias Covid 19 coronavirus: Last day of lockdown - Jacinda Ardern's message to New Zealand Turkish president commemorates Canakkale War martyrs US coronavirus death toll surpasses 50,000 Iran coronavirus update: Over 34,700 dead, officials question regime’s COVID-19 stats Germany takes ex-members of Syria's secret police to trial over alleged war crimes STL: Pre-Trial Judge rules on victims’ participation in the Ayyash case Turkish, US leaders discuss cooperation amid pandemic Turkey to return 25,000 expats for Ramadan amid virus US coronavirus death toll surpasses 30,000 - study