Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, have been suspended without pay after a video showed them pushing a 75-year-old man to the ground, as protests over the police killing of George Floyd continued into their tenth night.
Footage taken by a reporter from a local public radio station and posted online showed the unidentified man approaching a line of officers in riot gear. One officer pushes him with a baton and a second one with his hand. The advancing police line halts when a loud crack is heard as his head hits the pavement and blood could be seen trickling from the man’s head.
The incident drew widespread condemnation as protesters returned to the streets of several US cities to demonstrate against police brutality.
“I was deeply disturbed by the video,” Buffalo mayor Byron Brown 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.”
New York state governor Andrew Cuomo said the incident was “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful”, adding: “Police Officers must enforce – not abuse – the law.”
Warning: the footage below contains graphic scenes.
This video is equally graphic and has a horrific sound when the 75-year-old man falls. In other footage, blood streams from his ear as one officer after another walks by him and doesn’t help. Men in military fatigues were the first to kneel near him. https://t.co/BeLFATZaeI— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) June 5, 2020
The video in Buffalo shows the majority of the officers march past after the man falls, though the officer who pushed him with a baton starts to lean over him before he is motioned away by another officer. Someone is heard calling for a medic.
The radio station, WBFO, reported that two medics came forward and helped the man into an ambulance. Police later said that a man was injured after tripping and falling, the radio station said.
But after viewing the video, Buffalo police commissioner Byron Lockwood ordered an investigation and suspended the two officers, Brown said.
The 75-year-old victim was in stable but serious condition at Erie County medical center hospital in Buffalo, Brown said.