photo credit: ShawnTan // Shutterstock
A video went viral on Thursday of a officer within the Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team, pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground. The man laid motionless on the ground after he hit his head on the sidewalk, as blood pooled around his head.
The officer who pushed the man attempted to bend down and check on him, but was stopped by another officer who seemed to be radioing for help as he motioned the initial officer to keep walking with the group.
The two Response Team members were suspended without pay on Thursday. No charges were filed. Following this decision, all 57 members of the Response Team resigned. They have not quit the police department, however, they have stepped down from the tactical unit.
“Our position is these officers were simply following orders from Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia to clear the square,” said Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans. “It doesn’t specify clear the square of men, 50 and under or 15 to 40. They were simply doing their job. I don’t know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards.”
Watch for yourself and see if you think the old man “slipped.”
He was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was in stable but serious condition early Friday morning.
Attorney General Letitia James released a statement about Thursday’s incident: “The video captured on June 4 shows what appears to be a horrific display of abuse and lack of concern for New Yorkers by the Buffalo Police Department. My office supports the investigation by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, and we stand by ready to assist should they need it.”
The police could have killed this man. pic.twitter.com/92kQ0hRz1w
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 5, 2020
Source: The Buffalo News