NEW YORK— An elderly man was injured after a confrontation with Buffalo Police Department that took place on Thursday, June 4.
A un-identified 75-year-old male protester was injured Thursday night while police officers cleared Niagara Square as the citywide curfew went into effect. In a video captured by WBFO’s Mike Desmond, police in tactical gear are seen advancing on protestors in an attempt to clear them from blocking the front of City Hall after a peaceful protest took place. The elderly man is then seen approaching two of the officers and exchanging words with both before one of the officer’s puts his hand forward towards the man’s chest, resulting in the man falling and injuring his head. The man appeared to be unconscious and blood could be seen. You can then hear someone say, “He’s bleeding out of his ear”. Immediately after the man falls, the officer who placed his hand forward, is seen shaking his head and looking down at the ground. Another officer is heard saying they had EMT on scene.
The officer who placed his hand on the man’s chest was later identified as Aaron Torgalski, 39, of Aurora, NY. Torgalski, coincidently, has also resided in Minneapolis in the past. He was hired onto the Buffalo Police Department back in 2014.
The Buffalo Police Department issued a statement where they stated the elderly man “tripped and fell”. Buffalo PD has since suspended the two officers without pay and has begun an Internal Affairs investigation, according to a police official and a department spokesman.
The elderly man is in serious but stable condition at Erie County Medical Center, according to Buffalo’s Mayor Byron Brown, in a written statement on his Twitter account.
A petition to have Torgalski fired has already surfaced on change.org, which states the following:
“Aaron Torgalski pushed an elderly man for no reason at all clearly abusing his power as a police officer. The push was strong enough to make the old man fall backwards and crack his head and start bleeding. This man should not be in control of our safety! This man does not deserve a badge! This man should not be allowed to hold a gun and carry out the law! Fire him! If we get enough people to sign they can’t ignore us. He should be fired! This man makes $80,000 a year to push an old man who did not provoke him.”
The petition has reached the entire 50,000 signatures originally requested as of 9:47 P.M. Pacific standard time. It is now asking for 75,000 signatures.
Various protests have been underway across the nation after the death of an African-American male, George Floyd, who died after former Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Since the protests began against police brutality, an NYPD officer on patrol in Brooklyn Wednesday night, was stabbed in the neck in an attack that ended with multiple officers’ guns being fired.