(Photo from Michael Desmond/WBFO)
NEW YORK (77 WABC) — The two Buffalo police officers have been charged with assault for shoving an elderly man during a protest against the death of George Floyd.
Aaron Torgalski, 39, and Robert McCabe, 32, were virtually arraigned Saturday before a judge.
Each officer faces one count of assault in the second degree and was released on their own recognizance without bail.
The officers, who are part of the same Emergency Response Team, are scheduled to appear in court again July 20, CNN said.
“I believe, I’m alleging, that these two officers violated the law,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said.
State penal law states if the victim is over 65 years of age and the perpetrator is at least 10 years younger, it is classified as an assault, Flynn said.
“There’s no tolerance for delaying justice in society anymore,” Governor Cuomo said at his briefing Saturday.
Video showed 75-year-old Martin Gugino approaching a group of helmeted officers with batons. After the push, Guglino fell backwards, as blood could be seen from his ears.
Perhaps more disturbing, officers walked past the injured man, including one cop to begin to approach before a colleague urged his to keep moving.
Guglino remains hospitalized with a head injury.
The officers were suspended without pay Friday pending an investigation.
However, 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s emergency response team quit the unit “in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” said John Evans, Police Benevolent Association president, according to WGRZ.
But Mayor Byron Brown told CNN the resignation the unit was “inspired by the union.”
DA Flynn speaks following the arraignment of two Buffalo Police officers charged with Assault in the Second Degree for allegedy pushing an elderly protester outside City Hall on Thursday night. pic.twitter.com/xwuFIW87mA
— Erie County DA (@DAErieCountyNY) June 6, 2020
75-year-old man assaulted by a Buffalo police officer. He was pushed to the ground and cracked his skull.
They walked by him while he bled.
The Buffalo Police Department LIED and said he “tripped & fell.”
Then a video emerged.
Protect and Serve?
More like Brutalize and Lie. pic.twitter.com/fTjBtz1Kjj
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) June 5, 2020
Buffalo, New York, Mayor Byron Brown says the resignation of 57 police officers from the force's specialized unit was “inspired by the union, the police benevolent association.”
“That was an act to intimidate police officers and to not protect the residents of our community.” pic.twitter.com/TbYMIaevR2
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) June 6, 2020