Almost all of Buffalo, New York’s emergency response team resigns following an incident of two officers pushing down a 75-year-old protester to the ground.
57 Resign After Suspension of Officers
Fifty-seven police officers in Buffalo, New York, resigned from the emergency response unit, but not from the force, after the suspension of two officers who pushed down a senior protester. Those who resigned from the unit make up almost all of the team itself, with only a few members currently out and not included in those who resigned, the mayor’s office said.
Videos of the 75-year-old man, Martin Gugino, being pushed down to the street by two officers, injuring his head, surfaced on Thursday. Despite being hospitalized in serious condition, Gugino is stable, authorities said.
The senior man’s attorney Kelly V. Zarone said that Gugino is a longtime peaceful protester and human rights advocate, adding that the man urged people to protest peacefully and not violently. Gugino’s niece, Megan Toufexis, told CNN that he attended the protest that Thursday to discuss First Amendment rights with the police.
Mayor Byron Brown said that despite the man being asked to leave numerous times, he still wants the two suspended officers to get due process, adding that despite the situation with the emergency response team, the city has a “contingency plan.”
When the video first surfaced on social media, police said that Gugino tripped and fell, later correcting the information after more footage became available.
When I saw the video from Buffalo, it made me sick to my stomach. Where was the threat? How can you walk by a person when there’s blood coming out of his head? It’s fundamentally inhumane & frightening.
This is a moment for change. NY will lead the way.pic.twitter.com/7UrTLq4RUo
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 5, 2020
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to Twitter to express his thoughts and feelings on the matter, saying that the officers responsible for the misconduct should be fired, urging prosecutors to move “fairly but quickly,” in order to not have a repeat of what happened with the delays in Minneapolis.
Despite the video, Cuomo also took the time to call out attacks on officers saying, “You have incidents of police getting hit with bricks in the head. Who are we?” Cuomo said.