Two officers were suspended after footage of their actions went viral.
During a protest in Buffalo, New York against police brutality and racial discrimination, a 75-year-old man was injured and left bleeding on the sidewalk by a group of police officers. Video footage of this incident was captured by local radio station WBFO, and has gone viral on social media.
In the footage, which was recorded briefly after the city’s curfew went into effect, the elderly man can be seen approaching the officers unarmed. One officer yells “push him back,” prompting two officers to shove him with their hands and a baton, respectively. The elderly man stumbles back and lands on the ground, and blood begins to leak out of his right ear. An officer leans down to examine him before another officer pulls the first away as the group continues their forward march.
These actions have drawn significant ire toward the Buffalo PD, which only increased after the station made an official statement that the elderly man “tripped and fell.” According to several Twitter users that have scrutinized the footage, the elderly man may have been attempting to return a dropped helmet to the officers. In a statement on Thursday night, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo condemned the officers for their actions.
“The incident in Buffalo is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful,” Cuomo said. “I’ve spoken with City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and we agree that the officers involved should be immediately suspended. Police officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law.”
As Cuomo suggested, both officers directly responsible for the elderly man’s injury have been suspended without pay, though neither have been formally charged or publicly identified. A petition has been organized to officially fire both officers that has gathered 230,890 signatures as of writing. As for the protester, whose name has not been divulged, he is currently in serious, but stable condition at a nearby hospital.