Kacey Musgraves is adding her voice to the growing number of people expressing their outrage after video showed a 75-year-old man being pushed by Buffalo police officers amid an anti-racism protest. Occurring on June 4, video of the incident quickly made its way to social media, with Musgraves having been among the people to call the video out and dub the officers' actions "unacceptable."
Musgraves' outrage, however, did not end there. Just minutes later, and after the officer seen shoving 75-year-old Martin Gugino was identified as Aaron Torgalski, she called for Twitter to "unite" in their outrage by calling the Buffalo Police department and demanding he be fired, adding that Torgalski "hurts the elderly." Shortly after, she revealed she had called the department to "demand the firing of Officer Aaron Torgalski (the one who seriously hurt the elderly man & wouldn't help him)." She also provided the number for her followers to call to do the same.
On June 5, she shared a note to her account, tagging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Buffalo mayor Byron Brown, and the Buffalo Police Department. In the note, she said that she was "demanding accountability for the excessive use of violence and police brutality" on Gugino, who was hospitalized with a concussion and lacerations. She called the police officer’s actions "blatant police aggression" that had "an intent to harm" and condemned the other officers who were seen in the video walking past Gugino without rendering him any aid.
She went on to demand "charges be pressed against the officers involved" and said that they "should NOT be allowed to keep OR return to their jobs." She added that either the officers or the police department "should be financially responsible for covering the hospital and aftercare recovery cost” of Gugino."
ELDERLY PROTESTER ASSAULT 🛑 CALL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY @NYGovCuomo (518)474-8390 @NewYorkStateAG @MayorByronBrown @BPDAlerts Erie County District Attorney: John J. Flynn: (716) 858-2400 Buffalo Police Commissioner: Byron Lockwood (716)851-4571 pic.twitter.com/ekt35wo5eH— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) June 5, 2020
Torgalski and fellow officer Robert McCabe were eventually suspended without pay and charged with second-degree assault, something that President Donald Trump condemned. In a tweet, the president suggested that the video was "a set up," supporting the conspiracy theory that Gugino "could be an ANTIFA provocateur," citing One America News Network (OANN). Musgraves slammed the president's remarks, suggesting that he operate "on fact vs spreading fake, sensationalized opinion."