US: 57 Buffalo riot squad officers step down to back suspended officials

‘You see that video and it disturbs your basic sense of decency,’ NY governor said

buffalo-old-man-police-george-floyd-protests-reuters An elderly man lies on the ground after he was shoved by two police officers in Niagara Square in Buffalo, New York | Reuters

All 57 police officers from the riots-squad of the Buffalo, New York unit resigned to show support to the two officers accused of shoving an old man to the ground.

After a video of the two officers shoving a 75-year-old man, who started bleeding went online, the two officials were placed on unpaid leave.

The 75-year-old, who was a part of protesters, was seriously injured, and taken to hospital. As per local news, the members have stepped down from the Emergency Response Team, but not the police department itself.

John Evans, president of the local police union told Buffalo News, a local newspaper, "Our position is these officers were simply following orders from Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia to clear the square.

"It doesn't specify clear the square of men, 50 and under or 15 to 40. You see that video and it disturbs your basic sense of decency' I don't know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday the two officers should be fired and called for the incident to be investigated for "possible criminal charges". Cuomo also said, “You see that video and it disturbs your basic sense of decency.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said: "We can confirm that contingency plans are in place to maintain police services and ensure public safety within our community."

The incident took place when the elderly man in question was a part of protests that have broken out all over the US after an African-American man named George Floyd was suffocated to death as a result of a policeman placing his knee on Floyd’s neck.

The video shows the elderly man approaches the police when two officials appear to be pushing him, causing him to fall and hit his head, a BBC report reads.

Even though the four policemen involved in Floyd’s death are facing criminal charges in varying degrees, protestors are now demanding systemic changes in the way the police detain and question suspects, especially those of colour.

Mayor Byron Brown said that added that Buffalo police are continuing to work with other law enforcement agencies to ensure public safety within the community.