At least two police officers in New York have been suspended following the emergence of a viral video showing them pushing a 75-year-old man to the ground during protests.
The unnamed man fell backwards, appeared to hit his head, and blood began pooling on the ground, pouring from his ears.
What are the details?
The incident took place on Thursday night in Buffalo, New York, amid protests for racial equality and against police brutality.
In the video, the unnamed man can be seen approaching a group of Buffalo Police Department officers. He is almost immediately shoved down to the sidewalk. He stumbles, falls, and appears to hit his head. The video shows the man motionless and on the ground — bleeding from his ears — as police officers pass by his body.
What are people saying?
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown confirmed the elderly man was admitted to the hospital following the altercation and is in “serious but stable” condition.
“I was deeply disturbed by the video,” he said, “as was Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood. He directed an immediate investigation into the matter, and the two officers have been suspended without pay. After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, police leadership, and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also condemned the officers for their role in the man’s injury.
“This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful,” he tweeted on Thursday. “Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law.”
In a statement, New York’s ACLU tweeted that the man was simply engaging in peaceful protest against police brutality.
A spokesperson for the organization said, “The casual cruelty demonstrated by Buffalo police officers tonight is gut-wrenching and unacceptable. Police officers cannot continue to hide behind the lie that the are protecting and serving. City leaders need to take this as a wake-up call and seriously address the police violence during this week’s protest and the culture of impunity that led to this incident.”
Have the police said anything about this?
In an initial statement, Buffalo police said that the man was injured after he “tripped & fell.”
“Buffalo police say today’s protest activity in Niagara Square has ended,” the statement read. “Police say four people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges for blocking traffic in the Square. Police say a 5th person was arrested during a skirmish with other protesters and also charged with disorderly conduct. During that skirmish with protesters, one person was injured when he tripped & fell.”
The statement added, “A reminder the city curfew remains in effect from 8pm-5am through & including Sunday.”
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Author: Sarah Taylor
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