A pair of police officers filmed shoving a 75 year-old peace activist to the ground will be charged over the incident Saturday, it is claimed. The Buffalo Police Department cops – one of whom has been named as Aaron Torgalski – are expected to appear before a court in Buffalo, upstate New York on Saturday morning.
It is still unclear what offenses the police officers could be charged with. MailOnline reported that the officers’ colleagues have begun gathering at the city’s courthouse in a show of support for the pair, who were suspended without pay after video footage of the Thursday evening incident emerged.
Buffalo Police Department’s entire 57-person Emergency Response team resigned in protest at their colleagues’ suspension, although those officers have not quit the police department itself.
Torgalski and his as-yet unnamed colleague were filmed shoving 75 year-old Martin Gugino to the ground during a protest Thursday evening. Gugino cracked his skull on the concrete sidewalk, was left badly-bleeding, and remains critically-ill in hospital.
The incident sparked further fury when a spokesman for Buffalo PD claimed Gugino had injured himself after tripping, when video footage clearly showed that he’d been pushed.
On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for the cops to be fired and charged at his daily coronavirus briefing on Friday after saying the footage made him feel nauseous. He said: ‘I was sick to my stomach… it was the same feeling I had for 90 of the past nights when I got the death tolls for coronavirus. I was physically sick to my stomach.’
But Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown defended the cops’ actions at a press conference Friday. He branded Gugino an ‘agitator’ who had been repeatedly asked to leave the area numerous times before Thursday’s incident.
Gugino was taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest sparked by the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd, 46, was filmed saying ‘I can’t breathe’ as Minneapolis PD cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes 46 seconds while arresting him for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
Chauvin and three other colleagues involved in the arrest were subsequently fired and charged over the killing.
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