Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, have been put on unpaid leave after footage emerged showing them pushing a 75-year-old man to the ground.
Protests and riots have broken out across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death, some peaceful in nature, some less so.
One particular incident apparently took place last night, June 4, just as the 10.00pm curfew was being enforced. As per reports, police officers moved into Niagara Square in Buffalo, New York, to clear the area of protestors.
Video footage shows a 75-year-old man approach the line of officers, before two of them – one armed with a baton – shove him harshly to the ground.
A number of bystanders were filming the incident, and caught on camera the moment the man’s head hit the sidewalk with a sickening thud. His head began to bleed and he remained still whilst on the ground.
Police initially claimed a person had tripped and fell during the ordeal, but it soon became clear it had been two of their officers that had pushed the man over. Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood has since ordered the suspension of the two officers involved, as per WKBW.
There were those at the scene who said the man was simply trying to return a helmet to the officers. Mayor Byron Brown said he was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the video.
The victim is said to have been taken to the Erie County Medical Center, where he remains in a stable but serious condition
Mayor Brown’s statement read:
“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.”
New York state governor Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, called it ‘utterly disgraceful’.
To act so aggressively under such circumstances – especially with all that’s going on in the world – is simply not befitting of a police officer.
Share this article to send prayers for this man’s health, and in the hope that those responsible are punished accordingly.