Video shows police in Buffalo, New York, shoving elderly man to ground

Police push a protestor in Buffalo, New York, on June 5, 2020.
Police push a protestor in Buffalo, New York, on June 5, 2020. © Screengrab from WBFO reporter's video

Two Buffalo, New York, police officers were suspended without pay on Thursday after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground as protests over the police killing of George Floyd continued.

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The video, taken by a reporter from local public radio station WBFO and posted on its website and Twitter account, shows the white-haired man approaching a line of officers in riot gear. One officer pushes him with a baton and a second one with his hand. As he falls, the sound of a crack is heard and then blood trickles from the man's head. The man, who is white, is not identified.

The footage shows officers march past as the man lies on the ground, though the officer who pushed him with a baton starts to lean over him before he is motioned away by another officer. Someone is heard calling for a medic.

"I was deeply disturbed by the video," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said in a statement. "After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, police leadership and members of the community, tonight's event is disheartening."

The victim was in stable but serious condition at Erie County Medical Center Hospital in Buffalo, Brown said.

The incident drew widespread condemnation on social media as protesters returned to the streets of several US cities to demonstrate against police brutality.

The radio station reported that two medics came forward and helped the man into an ambulance. Police later said that a man was injured after tripping and falling, the radio station said.

But after viewing the video, Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood ordered an investigation and suspended the two officers, Brown said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted that the incident was "unjustified and utterly disgraceful".

(FRANCE 24 and REUTERS)

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