BUFFALO, NY—Friday, June 5, all 57 members of the Buffalo Emergency Response Team resigned in support of two officers who were suspended after video surfaced of two members of their team pushing down a 75-year-old man at a protest.
The elderly man has been identified as Martin Gugino. The officers were advising protesters and reporters to move out of the way at Niagara Square Thursday when Gugino started walking closer to them in spite of their orders. It has been reported that the officer’s name who is seen pushing the man is Aaron Torgalski. Another officer is seen extending his baton onto Gugino.
Officers proceed to arrest a protester who approaches the scene while two other attend to Gugino on the ground.
A few moments after Gugino is on the ground, you can hear, “We have an EMT on scene.” It is unclear who said it.
A bystander watching the incident unfold yells, “Is that guy okay?”
Another witness responds with, “No, he’s fucking bleeding and they’re doing nothing. He’s unconscious.”
Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo confirmed at a press conference that the Mayor of Buffalo Byron Brown suspended them immediately after he was shown the tape and that the D.A. is looking into it.
“What happened in Buffalo offends our sense of decency & humanity. It’s frightening. Let’s focus on the facts. What we saw on that video is abuse and we must put a stop to this kind of abuse. Enough is enough. In this moment change is possible. New York will be at the forefront.”
Mayor Brown confirmed that the victim is in stable but serious condition at ECMC and that Police commissioner, Byron Lockwood directed an immediate investigation into the matter and the two officers have been suspended without pay.
Buffalo police department has not made any statements on social media.
Former New York police officer, Bernard Kerik said, “When a police officer tells you to move, you move. At some point in time, you’re going to push the wrong cop and he’s going to push back and in this case, that’s what happened.”
Less than 48 hours later, the viral video has 76.1M views on Twitter.