Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Ice-T commented on the fall-out of the shocking video from Buffalo, New York, in which a 75-year-old man was pushed to the ground by police officers. The protester, identified as peace advocate Martin Gugino, is still in serious but stable condition at the Erie County Medical Center. On Friday, 57 police officers resigned in support of the two officers who were suspended without pay for pushing Gugino.
After news broke about the officers' resignations, Ice Cube tweeted, "57 Officers just quit on their city because justice was given to a 75-year-old man." Ice-T shared his colleague's thoughts, adding, "The Blue Line is REAL." The rapper also shared a photo of Friday's demonstration in Buffalo, adding "Buffalo! Stand up!"
Buffalo! Stand Up! https://t.co/ImGOY7UBF4— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) June 6, 2020
On Thursday, the video of Gugino being pushed to the ground by officers quickly went viral. Buffalo police initially said a protester "tripped and fell," but after the video gained millions of views within minutes, Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood suspended the officers without pay. The police union later defended the officers' actions, telling the Buffalo News they were "simply following orders" to clear the square in front of City Hall. The 57 other officers who resigned were members of the Buffalo Police Department Emergency Team.
Gugino's lawyer sent a statement to WIVB, including an update on the protester's condition. His attorney called Gugino an "overall fan of the U.S. Constitution for many years" and is now in "serious but stable" condition. Gugino appreciated the support and asked for privacy while he continues to recover. Gugino also asked that "any further protests continue to be peaceful," according to his attorney.
Buffalo officials continue to face criticism for their handling of the incident. In a letter Friday, Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin told Lockwood suspending the two officers is not enough. She thanked him for quickly suspending them, but said that "Cannot be the extent of your action here," adding, "I am grateful to you for your daily sacrifices to protect the residents of our great city, and I pray fervently you will consider my offer and act on my request." Baskin wrote that the incident "could not have come at a worse time for our community."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the video "disturbs your basic sense of decency and humanity" during his Friday press conference. "It's just fundamentally offensive and frightening… Who are we? How did we get to this place?" he said of the video. Cuomo said he spoke with Gugino, reports CBS News.