Buffalo Police Officers Filmed Shoving Elderly Man To The Floor Put On Leave
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, demonstrations, protests and clashes with police have been a daily occurrence.
However, while some police officers know more violence is not the answer, taking a knee and supporting protesters, for example, or cutting police budgets and reinvesting it into black communities, others don’t seem to quite understand.
Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, have now been put on unpaid leave after footage emerged of them shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground, as protests continued for a tenth consecutive night.
You can watch the incident here. Warning, graphic footage:
The incident reportedly took place just as the 10.00pm curfew was being enforced last night, June 4, in Buffalo, as officers moved into Niagara Square to clear the protesters.
Footage from the square shows the 75-year-old man approach the line of police, there seems to be a brief encounter between them before two officers, one with a baton, shove the elderly man to the ground.
It was caught on camera by a number of bystanders, and video shows the man hitting his head forcefully on the pavement. A loud thud is heard, before his head starts to bleed and the man does not appear to move.
Warning, graphic footage:
Initially, police said ‘one person tripped’ during the incident in Niagara Square, though as more footage emerged it became clear the officers pushed the man. Now, Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood has ordered the suspension of the two officers involved, WKBW reports.
According to some at the scene, the 75-year-old was trying to return a helmet to the police officers.
Warning, graphic footage:
At around 11.00pm the same evening, Mayor Byron Brown condemned the incident, saying he was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the video. The victim is said to have been taken to the Erie County Medical Center, and is in a stable but serious condition.
Mayor Brown said police commissioner Lockwood has ordered an immediate investigation into the matter, and the two officers involved have been suspended without pay.
Mayor Brown said:
After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, Police leadership and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening. I hope to continue to build on the progress we have achieved as we work together to address racial injustice and inequity in the City of Buffalo. My thoughts are with the victim tonight.
New York state governor Andrew Cuomo also responded, calling it ‘utterly disgraceful’.
Elsewhere in Buffalo, police said four people were arrested for disorderly conduct charges for blocking traffic, while another was arrested during a ‘skirmish with other protesters’.
The City of Buffalo has been ordering a curfew from 8.00pm to 5.00am every night, which is expected to last until at least Sunday, June 7.
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