A 75-year-old man is reportedly in serious condition after being shoved to the ground by cops in Buffalo, New York. The incident took place on Thursday, with police initially stating that the man fell. Footage of the incident later went viral, revealing that officers, in fact, pushed him.
In the clip, the man is seen approaching the officers in a non-threatening manner — at Buffalo's Niagara Square — when suddenly he is pushed by them. He stumbles backward and lands on the concrete, hitting the back of his head. As a mass of officers continues to march forward around him, the man lay on the ground. It soon becomes clear that he is profusely bleeding from the head. A third officer appears to call for help, but then he and a number of officers are seen walking forward to restrain another man holding a sign. According to New York's PIX 11 News, the man is currently in the care of doctors at Erie County Medical Center, and in "serious" condition.
One of the officers involves in the incident has been identified as officer Aaron Torgalski. He is a six-year veteran of the force. Both Torgalski and another officer involved has been suspended without pay, while the incident is investigated. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has spoken out about the incident, saying, that both he and Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood were "deeply disturbed by the video."
He went on to announced that Lockwood "immediately" called for an investigation, along with suspending the officers. Brown continued, "After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, Police leadership and members of the community, tonight's event is disheartening." He stated that he hopes "to continue to build on the progress" they have achieved and that he wants to see everyone "work together to address racial injustice and inequity in the City of Buffalo."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also commented on the incident, tweeting, "This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful." He went on to reveal that he had "spoken with [Mayor Brown]" and that the two of them "agree that the officers involved should be immediately suspended pending a formal investigation." Finally, Cuomo lashed out at police officers who use excessive force, stating that they "must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law."