New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called video showing Buffalo police officers shoving an elderly man who fell to the ground "utterly disgraceful" as the department moved to suspend two officers involved in the incident without pay pending an investigation.
As The Inquisitr reported, the incident took place in the city's Niagara Square just after 8 p.m., when a number of protesters lingered beyond the city's curfew. The video showed a line of police officers in riot gear moving toward the remaining protesters when they were approached by an elderly man. He was pushed backward by at least two officers and stumbled backward, where he fell to the pavement and struck his head. As the man lay motionless with a pool of blood forming beneath his head, the initial line of officers continued to walk past his body until an officer wearing tan fatigues stopped and appeared to administer aid.The video captured national attention, prompting many to speak out. That included the state's governor, who said on Twitter that the actions by police were "wholly unjustified." Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also released a statement saying he was "deeply disturbed" by the incident, especially after police officers in the city had taken steps to work with protesters to ensure that events remained peaceful.
"After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, Police leadership and members of the community, tonight's event is disheartening. I hope to continue to build on the progress we have achieved as we work together to address racial injustice and inequity in the City of Buffalo," he said in the statement posted to Twitter. "My thoughts are with the victim tonight."
Reporters who covered Thursday's protest and others that have taken place in the city noted that police had met with protest leaders to inform them that no action would be taken as long as they dispersed by the 8 p.m. curfew.A number of national figures weighed in on the incident as well, including The View co-host Sonny Hostin. Thursday marked the second straight day of protests in downtown Buffalo, though Wednesday's events passed with little incidents and were peaceful, WGRZ reported. The report added that the man may have suffered a concussion and had been listed in serious but stable condition at a nearby hospital.
It was not clear what discipline the Buffalo police officers involved could face, but New York State Attorney General Letitia James said she was aware of the video.