2 New York officers suspended after video shows 75-year-old man pushed during protest
Jun 5, 2020, 11:22 AM | Updated: Jan 25, 2023, 11:57 am
(CNN) — An investigation is underway after police officers pushed a 75-year-old man to the ground in Buffalo, New York, an incident Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.”
Video of a demonstration Thursday shows a row of officers walking toward the man and two pushing him. His head bleeds onto the sidewalk as officers walk past him, some looking down at him.
The man is hospitalized in serious but stable condition, authorities said Friday.
The two officers were suspended without pay.
The demonstrators in Niagara Square were, like those across the country, calling for racial justice after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Based on initial video, police issued a statement that said the man tripped and fell, Buffalo Police Department spokesman Mike DeGeorge told CNN.
After more videos became available, police amended that statement, and Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood suspended the officers and opened an investigation, he said.
“The department moved swiftly” and “corrected” the information, DeGeorge said.
Mayor Byron Brown tweeted called the incident “disheartening” and said his thoughts were with the victim.
Prosecutors are investigating, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office tweeted.
The victim had a head injury and could not give a statement to investigators Thursday night, the tweet said.
“This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Twitter. “Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law.”
Cuomo said he spoke with the elderly man.
“Thankfully he is alive,” Cuomo said Friday at his daily news conference in Albany. “You see that video, and it disturbs your basic sense of decency and humanity.”
Cuomo also called out attacks on police officers, saying, “You have incidents of police getting hit with bricks in the head. Who are we?”