A pair of Buffalo, N.Y., police officers have been suspended without pay after video emerged of them shoving and seriously injuring an elderly man amid protests demanding justice for George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police last week.
In footage taken by a WBFO journalist, the man, 75, is seen slowly approaching the police until one officer tells him to move and pushes him. The man falls and appears to hit his head against the concrete, knocking him out as blood began to spill from his ear.
One of the officers can be heard saying “Why the f--- you walking up on me,” as the line of officers proceeded to walk past the unconscious man.
“I was deeply disturbed by the video,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D) said in a statement. “After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, police leadership and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening.”
Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo says he 'never apologized' to NYPD for saying they 'did not do their job' CDC director warns Floyd protests could be 'seeding event' for coronavirus Former Obama aide goes off on looters: 'There are human beings that live in this goddamn neighborhood' MORE (D) said in a tweet that "Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law," adding that he and Brown agreed 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
Brown said in a statement that the man was in "stable, but serious condition," at a local Buffalo hospital.
The original tweet from WBFO, Buffalo's NPR station, that shows the video has been viewed over 48 million times, as of Friday morning.
Just about an hour ago, police officers shove man in Niagara Square to the ground (WARNING: Graphic). Video from: @MikeDesmondWBFO pic.twitter.com/JBKQLvzfET— WBFO (@WBFO) June 5, 2020
A bystander can be heard yelling “He’s bleeding out of his ear!” and calling for medics in the video. The man is seen laying on his back with blood spilling from his head.
In a statement to WBFO, the police department originally said "a 5th person was arrested during a skirmish with other protestors and also charged with disorderly conduct. During that skirmish involving protestors, one person was injured when he tripped & fell."
It’s unclear if the statement was referring to the elderly man who was shoved by police officers in the video.