The Buffalo, New York Police Department has suspended two officers without pay and launched an Internal Affairs investigation after a viral video showed the cops shoving a 75-year-old protester onto a concrete sidewalk as police cleared Niagra Square during enforcement of a citywide curfew.
The man can be seen bleeding from the head following the incident.
According to the Buffalo News, the incident occurred several hours after a standoff between police in riot gear and protesters, who where blocking the street in front of City Hall.
Two members of @BPDAlerts push him – one of them gives up a name slowing down the 1080p version on YouTube
— J̶O̸N̶ (@Bern4Bern) June 5, 2020
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown – who told protesters in Niagra Square on Thursday that he will formally outlaw the use of choke holds on suspects by the Buffalo PD – said that the man was “knocked down” by officers.
A 7 Eyewitness News reporter captured video showing the aftermath of the incident. Protesters can be heard reacting to the man’s fall. The man is now in stable but serious condition at Erie County Medical Center.
7 Eyewitness News has learned Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood has ordered the suspension of the officers involved in the incident. –WKBW
Mayor Brown issued the following statement shortly after 11 p.m.:
Tonight, after a physical altercation between two separate groups of protesters participating in an illegal demonstration beyond the curfew, two Buffalo Police officers knocked down a 75-year-old man. The victim is in stable but serious condition at ECMC. I was deeply disturbed by the video, 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. 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.
Governor Andrew Cuomo weighed in as well, tweeting “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.”
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
You have the video.
— Kassandra Seven (@KassandraSeven) June 5, 2020
The New York ACLU also weighed in, saying in a statment “The casual cruelty demonstrated by Buffalo police officers tonight is gut-wrenching and unacceptable. Suspensions and an investigation are already in order, but there is little more we have to see to know what took place.”
Police officers cannot continue to hide behind the lie that they are protecting and serving.
— NYCLU (@NYCLU) June 5, 2020