Two Buffalo cops seen shoving man in video plead not guilty to second-degree assault
Two Buffalo cops caught on a now-viral video pushing an elderly man to the ground, where he laid heavily bleeding onto the pavement, have pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault, according to reports.
Suspended Buffalo Police Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were arraigned Saturday morning via video conference and released without bail, according to CNN.
Cheers erupted from fellow cops as McCabe and Torgalski left the Erie County courthouse, News4Buffalo reported.
The officers, who were with the department’s Emergency Response Team, are due back in court July 20.
Martin Gugino, 75, described as a “longtime peace activist,” was hospitalized with a head injury. Mayor Byron Brown described Gugino as an “agitator.”
Fifty-seven officers resigned from the emergency team in solidarity with the two suspended cops.
In the clip taken Thursday shortly after Buffalo’s curfew went into effect, Gugino approaches Emergency Response Team officers dressed in riot gear. One of the officers shoves Gugino, causing him to stumble backward and fall. As a stream of officers approach, the back of his head hits the pavement and blood begins to trickle out.
“I said right away, I think the DA should look at it. I think there was criminal liability from what I saw on the video,” Cuomo said Saturday from his daily press conference in Albany. “I think what the mayor did and the DA did was right, and I applaud them. There is no tolerance for delay in justice.”
“Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” said John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association.
The special squad was created in 2016 and is deployed for mass protests or riots, the network reported.
The officers who resigned are still employed, just no longer part of the Emergency Response Team, according to WIVB.
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