Two Buffalo police officers have been suspended without pay following an incident caught on camera, showing them shoving an elderly man, causing him to stumble backward and fall, injuring his head.
The video shows the 75-year-old man approaching officers during a tense protest in Niagara Square and the situation escalating quickly, as the officers shoved the man, who stumbled backward and fell. The graphic video shows the elderly man lying on the ground with blood gushing from what appeared to be his right ear:
— WBFO (@WBFO) June 5, 2020
The man is reportedly in stable condition. Two of the officers in the video have been suspended without pay, according to Buffalo Police Department spokesman Mike DeGeorge. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D) also affirmed that the man is in “stable but serious” condition.
The update follows an original statement from the department, which described the circumstances of the skirmish and assessed the man “tripped and fell”:
— Jeff Russo (@JeffRussoWKBW) June 5, 2020
Mayor Brown released a statement detailing the incident, which apparently transpired after protesters participated in an “illegal demonstration beyond the curfew.”
“I was deeply disturbed by the video, as was Buffalo Police Commissioner Bryon Lockwood,” the mayor said, noting Lockwood directed an “immediate investigation” into the matter.
“After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, Police leadership and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening,” he added:
— Byron W. Brown (@MayorByronBrown) June 5, 2020
Brown also emphasized the incident does not represent the city’s police department.
“This is a very sad situation. It was a scary situation,” Brown said, according to WGRZ. “It doesn’t reflect the true character of the Buffalo PD, or the city of Buffalo.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also responded to the incident, describing it as “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.”
“I’ve spoken with Buffalo @MayorByronBrown and we agree that the officers involved should be immediately suspended pending a formal investigation,” Cuomo added. “Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law”:
This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.
I've spoken with Buffalo @MayorByronBrown and we agree that the officers involved should be immediately suspended pending a formal investigation.
Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law. https://t.co/EYIbTlXnPt
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 5, 2020