Buffalo police officers suspended after shoving 75-year-old protester
57 members of the police's Emergency Response Team resigned in protest.
The two Buffalo, N.Y., police officers seen on video shoving a 75-year-old male protester to the ground and leaving him bleeding on the pavement have been suspended, officials announced Friday.
During protests in Niagara Square on Thursday, the unidentified man was seen on camera walking toward several Buffalo police officers, who later push him.
The man fell flat on his back and bumped the back of his head on the concrete, video shows. A trail of blood can be seen seeping from the head of the motionless man as several officers walked by him.
Another officer who went to aid the bleeding man was pushed by fellow officers, the video shows.
Police Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood ordered an immediate suspension of the officers and opened an investigation.
In response to the suspension of the officers, 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department have resigned from the Emergency Response Team but remain officers on the force, according to a union official.
John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, said the move was meant to protest the suspensions.
Eric County Executive Mark Poloncarz said at a press conference Friday there are "officers who were angered and disturbed by what they saw."
He added, "The one thing that bothered me is that this was avoidable. There were less than 20 people in the square at the time of the incident."
James Kennedy, U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York, said he was "concerned" after seeing the video.
The Erie County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the incident to see if any criminal charges should be filed.
The spokesperson for the city and police department, Mike DeGeorge, initially said in a statement that the man "tripped and fell."
“Once the department became aware of additional video from the scene, they immediately opened an investigation," DeGeorge told ABC News on Thursday.
The man is in stable condition at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC).
"The victim was taken to ECMC to be treated for a head injury. He was unable to provide a statement to investigators last night. We will provide an update as the investigation progresses," prosecutors said in a statement.
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