We shared the disturbing video Friday morning. A Buffalo police officer shoved an elderly protester, and the man stumbled and fell to the ground, with his head loudly hitting the concrete. Blood spilled out of the back of his head. The 75-year-old, who has since been identified as Martin Gugino, was reported as "alert and oriented" on Friday. Once police management obtained the video of the incident, the two officers most directly involved have been suspended from the force without pay.
But their colleagues believe it was too strict a punishment. All 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team have resigned in support of the suspended officers.
#BREAKING: I’m told the entire @BPDAlerts Emergency Response Team has resigned from the team, a total of 57 officers, as a show of support for the officers who are suspended without pay after shoving Martin Gugino, 75. They are still employed, but no longer on ERT. @news4buffalo— Dave Greber (@DaveGreber4) June 5, 2020
While Mayor Byron Brown admitted being disturbed by the video, he explained on WBEN radio on Friday that Buffalo police protocol maintains that only medically trained officers are permitted to administer First Aid to injured individuals. That policy could explain why the officers in the front line walked right by the bleeding man as he lay on the ground. According to Brown, what the video didn't show was another officer administering assistance to Gugino.
More than one protest in Buffalo has turned bloody in the past two weeks. Last weekend, a group of rioters ran over three police officers with an SUV. One of the officers suffered a broken leg and a fractured pelvis.